outdoor living

It's painfully quiet around my blog these days, that's because we are living outdoors.  The weather here has been fabulous and not a day has passed that we haven't spent it outside.  When we do come in, it is to quickly put together a meal and try to get organized for the next activity.  My home is starting to look like a summer cottage with heaps of clothing and shoes in piles all about as the kids change from one outfit to another trying to keep the sand box out of the house.  It's a losing battle keeping the sand & dirt outside, but still we try.

I'm having a hard time working my brain around all that (seemingly) needs to be done.  So far we have managed to give the back yard a good clean and this weekend we really need to get to the front yard.  Things are wanting to grow and the winter kill is getting in the way.  In addition to cleaning I've been dreaming of my garden.

A yearly occurrence here as I add more flowers & plants in hopes of creating something beautiful.  There are a couple of gardens that are now empty as a result of work we did on our home last year.  They are a fresh canvas waiting to be filled with shade tolerant shrubs, perennials & annuals.  I need to get a plan...and quick!
To add to this I still have a few piles of winter clothing, jackets, boots, mitts & hats that are lying around waiting to be put back into storage for another year.   It is so strange looking at those items when there is no snow to be found.  I find myself doubting that winter was a reality.  I am so glad that spring is here with summer on her way.  I am definitely a "summer" person.  I love it hot and sunny, wearing light weight clothing, parks, beaches, bike rides, walks, late night bonfires, marshmallows, birds, nature, butterflies, caterpillars, bunnies and so much more that brings to mind the lovelies of summer. 
Ahh...let the summer festivities begin.


just call me Lizzy...

:: L I Z Z Y ::

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice!
  You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of silliness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgment that serves you very ill indeed.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

So when I'm not being Lizzy, I'm busy being an exceptional wife to my husband.  I gave up my "day out" on Friday so that my dh could go clothes shopping for himself.  It was a necessary venture for him; he needed some new clothing.  In the past we would have booked a babysitter and gone together, but that is getting increasingly difficult with 4 children and especially with the youngest being toddler twins.  In the end my dh decided he would like to give shopping a whirl by himself.  I was excited for him.  However, after two hours he phoned me completely depressed and overwhelmed.  Seems he just needed a second opinion of the female/wifely nature.  He tried to go it alone for another hour and then gave up.  Poor guy. 

There is a happy ending, we ran out together for a couple of hours on Sunday and brought home some new tops & pants. Today I went out by myself and gathered some additional items for him to choose from. I think he is happy and looks very handsome in his new duds. 

All this to say, I didn't do any crafty projects this weekend.  I guess in times of crisis, like my dh looking into his closet and saying "I have no nice clothing...", is a good time to put things on hold. 


time for change

...and I started at the top, with my banner that is. It's time to celebrate what isn't too far away, lush green trees, butterflies and so much more. I took these pictures last year and they make me think about the possibilites of life.


The snow is completely melted from our yard and the grass has been nicely drying out all week long. Spring has fully arrived and so has the warmer weather. Oh I'm sure there will still be cooler days, but nothing that will keep the trees from budding and the flowers from blooming. It's the inevitable cycle of life that has begun once again and I am loving it.


I think this is my onion plant, I can't believe how easily I forget where some things are growing in my garden. Time will tell. Nature isn't the only thing evolving, my blog is too, as I spend more and more of my time outdoors and less indoors at the computer. Another cycle. Today the kidlets brought out the bubble machine. Let the chase begin.

It is so much fun watching the boys interact with the girls. They have really adjusted well to having sisters and love spending time with them and teaching them things. It goes both ways as the girls adore their big brothers :) It makes this mumma's heart happy.

And just so you don't think I am totally ignoring the wip post I made the other day, I'm going to show you some hints of what is going on in the studio.


I've managed to sew a few panels of fabric together in 5 inch wide pieces.  All top stitched and waiting for something more...


Hmm, could that be a sleeve? I guess you will have to wait and see. I'd say I'm about 80% done and hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have everything finished. After all I have to come inside sometime during the day *wink* Well have a pleasant weekend, hope it brings much sun and many outdoor hours to you. 


Potty training...yeah right!

Have I mentioned at all yet that I am so ready to be done with diapers for Miss A & Miss J?  It's not so much about the changing them, it's has more to do with the constant rashes that they get because their torso is soaking up the urine.  Lovely morning subject I know.  Grab your coffee and come on in, sit awhile...
Well yesterday after dinner the kids and I all went outside.  I thought I would try an experiment and take the girls outside in their pants with no diapers.  I figure they can't understand the discomfort of peeing themselves unless they pee themselves.  Well, it worked out fine.  After an hour of being outside, Miss A peed right on cue and cried up a storm as the pee pee soaked her pants and pooled into the bottom of her rubber boots.  Poor thing.  I took her in & gave her a bath while she cried the whole time for her diaper.  Miss J on the other hand didn't pee herself nor did she pee on the potty.  I'm sure she will have a doser [pronounced Due-zer; is that really a word??] of a diaper when she wakes up. 

This isn't my first attempt, the other day I got the girls to sit on the potty together.  They each have a yellow one.  I even demonstrated how it works, you sit down, you think a happy thought and then voila, pee pee.  Well, they both looked at me like they were thinking "she's our mother and she's crazy."  They sat quietly for about 2 minutes waiting for the pee pee to come and in the end they both burst into tears looking completely traumatized. 
Okay, so I get the point....they aren't ready.  But I'm ready!  I'm ready because summer is around the corner and it's a great season to potty train.  Bare butts are easier to expose when it isn't minus 30 degrees.  It will be nicer for them to not wear hot sweaty diapers.  Much easier for me because my going out bag will be really light.    Oh there are so many reasons.   But alas I will put it off for now and try again a bit later.  At the very least they know via the demonstration that their mum doesn't pee her pants (except when she's on the trampoline, but that's another story that I'm not telling).


wip florals

Another project on the go. I'm making something adorable for the girls. At least I hope it is adorable. I'm using a few different patterns for this particular project as I like a bit of this and a bit of that. Here's a quick pic of the fabrics.


I hope I can get started on it sometime today, though that may not be possible as I really want to go to the park with the kids. I have a hard time getting anything done when the weather is beautiful. All I want to do is be outside. Makes me wonder if my sewing machine is going to go hiatus for a couple of months.

What are your plans for today? Do they involve the outdoors?   


late night...need coffee

I was all set to go to bed early last night until my dh put a movie in at 11:00 pm. It's hard for me to go to bed at anytime but throw a movie in and I get my second, third and fourth wind. I get wired. His movie ended shortly after 1:00 am and he headed to bed meanwhile I am stuck in the middle of a monotonous & boring project: cleaning my desk and sorting through a huge pile of papers that I have been avoiding.  When all was completed the clock said it was 4:00 am :eek: Way late even for me! Today I am dragging my feet and my brain is a bit foggy, I'm sure that will all pass at around 9:00 pm tonight. That's novel, I'll wake up in time for bed. 

We had a nice visit with friends out of town. We went for a walk to a huge Provincial park nearby which was pretty deserted as it has yet to open to the public. As you can tell it is still pretty brown here. The colder weather is taking a bit of time surrendering to the inevitable Spring. Soon enough things will be gloriously warm and green. FYI, my dh is on the left.

The kids had a blast on the walk and on the play structure. The boys climbed all things climb-able.

While Miss A master her skills of pushing people down the slide...whether they were ready or not!

We left long after the sunset to an almost quiet drive home with 3 out of 4 children fast asleep in the van. Miss A kept us awake with her versions of the songs Happy Birthday to you and Twinkle, Twinkle. 

Back to today, I'm off to the store to pick up a few essential items. Perhaps the fresh air will quicken my awakening. The cup of coffee in my travel mug can only help. Have a great day!


room with a view

If you happen a glance into my kitchen after the breakfast dishes are cleared you would more than likely find this occurrence on a semi-regular basis. 

We are homeschooling and have been since our kids were born :)   J our eldest has a love for reading that is best described as voracious.  While B our second son is a mathematical whiz kid.  The girls are holding their own as well though there are days they can't decided whether they like to use their crayons for actual coloring on paper or for running across their lips like chap stick.   Living in a cold climate we are constantly using the chap stick and the girls have caught on well & love it when we put chap stick on their lips. 

Today we are taking a school break, the boys are playing downstairs and the girls are napping.  We are heading out of town today, about an hour south of our city to visit some very dear friends.  In the busyness of life it is nice to take time for friends & relationships.

Speaking of relationships, we received a phone call this week from my dh's sister who kindly invited us to attend a play that she & her husband had extra tickets for.  My mum was able to babysit the kidlets for us and off we went last night to an evening of much laughter.  I love live theatre.  At times the plays are hit and miss, last night it was a hit.  I laughed so hard and the actors were fabulous.  It was great!  Thank you again to my dear sil & bil for thinking of us, we had a blast!


zippers are challenging...

Let me just get that off my chest before I start delving too far into this post.  I though the fussiest part was going to be figuring the patchwork.  I
was wrong.  Though it did require a bit of planning, I ended up drawing
out a diagram because my brain refused to retain the information
(excuse the messy drawing).   The zipper was the hardest part.  Uggh, can
I say that again? Uggh.  It's not that the zipper is so difficult, it
just takes time, patience and loads of pins.  For me when I get the end
of a project it is at the last bit that I want it "over with"   Unfortunately the starts & finishes are usually most crucial to success.  Ah well, in the end it all
worked out and I have a few extra band aids on my fingers to accommodate the pin pokes...Ouch!

Here is the finished project... 

I'm happy with how they turned out.  They speak of spring to me and perhaps they will help bring about the warmer weather this body so craves.  I took the girls out to the backyard for a bit after their nap to get some fresh air and snap some pictures. 

I don't know if they were more excited to be outdoors or to be wearing their new jackets & rubber boots.  I know I'm biased, but I just think they are adorable. 

So I didn't get to my chili yesterday, I was outnumbered my the males in the family who all wanted hamburgers.  In retrospect, they were very delicious and another first of the season.  As for the chili, Monica kindly left a link to a delicious looking recipe which I quickly printed.  I will get to this if not today than maybe sometime on the weekend.  I sure hope it was yummy Monica?? 


put your head on my pillow...

I gave my mum her birthday gift and she loved them. That makes me very happy. We were out shopping awhile back and she seemed to really love the African themed fabric that I was looking at. I instantly scrapped the other, fabrics I had in mind in favor of these ones. 



The pillows are huge, measuring (approx.) 22 in x 22 in. The covers are completely removable for washing, though my mum cringed at the idea that they would ever need washing. She was pretty adamant that no one was going to spill on them. Maybe that means I should keep the kidlet visits strictly to my home. Much safer all the way around I think.

Mums_pillow_back_2_4   Mums_pillow_back_5

I'll be laying low today trying to get some domestic chores done. The laundry is piling up and wouldn't you know it but the girls are down to their last pajamas. Not exactly a good thing when the weather is still so chilly. Mmm, that sounds like something that would be good to make for these brisk days, chili! Well, first I had better check on my ingredients. 


tender moments

Watching your child mimic their relationship with you can be really beautiful, especially
when it reflects the tenderness, cuddles & love that have become such a regular part of the day. I whipped up a couple of slings for the girls yesterday when I saw them trying to carry their special babies in the sling I use for them. Miss A was kind enough to cooperate long enough for me to take a few pictures. She looks like an old soul here carrying her "baby" like such a pro.

While she takes a few moments to adjust the comfort level of her darling, I took another quick pic of her babe Bandit (she named him after watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie). He looks so contented...and she really loves her puppy.



in the flesh

After a week of non-blogging it is good to be back. It was nice getting a few more things crossed off my "to do list" Though I didn't finish as much as I would have liked, I'm sure that is a good thing as sewing is not something to be rushed, nor am I one who enjoys working at a frantic pace. My dh was a so helpful keeping the kidlets busy. It was sort of weird having so much time on my hands. Of course it wasn't all play and no work, crisis erupted predictably around meal times when dh just wasn't sure what to cook (or how to cook it ;) We also distracted ourselves with a few car rides out and about, discovering new areas outside our city while dreaming of the future (perhaps a future post discussion).

Our weekend was a steady flow of celebrations. My niece's son turned 1 yrs old and the party was on Friday. I decided to make him a book tote to house the DK touch & feel book I had for him. He also has an older brother who will be 3 in a few more months, so it only seemed natural to make a second tote.


The totes are fairly identical and made with a canvas weight red fabric.

The train fabric, as well as the striped fabric are both Michael Miller retro favorites that I've been dying to use for ages. I lined the tote on the inside with the striped fabric, I love, love, love the weight and feel of that fabric.
Birthday_tote_boy_3   Birthday_tote_boy_1     

I finished off the totes with rick rack and colorful buttons. I hope those little boys enjoy filling their bags with books, toys and all sorts of activities as they grow while exploring their environment.

And now I'm off to savor a good cup of coffee in hopes to awaken me, while I listen to the constant flow of ideas & conversations that flow out of the mouths of my wee ones in the early morning hours. 


self portrait tuesday...

There was a thing floating around blog land awhile back called self-portrait Tuesday. I haven't checked to see if it is still active though I'm sure it is. Anyway, I thought I would introduce my self portrait. Here I am.

I decided to come to you in animated form because let's just say my life as of late has been less than animated. My dh just arrived back from a business trip out west.  Even though he was working I'm sure it was a great break from the regular pace here, as well as refreshing. Hey, he was near the ocean and mountains, how could he not enjoy himself. I on the other hand had a terrible weekend. The kidlets were for the most part, fine, but this mumma was grouchy. I'd like to chalk it up to hormones and all that, but I think I was generally just not in the right head space. I suppose it didn't help that I decided to forgo naps for 2 days in a row which meant very cranky toddler twins.  Argh.  Well, you know how it goes. The spouse is back and I am feeling relieved to say the least. 

So about this blogging thing. My dh is off work for the week and I am going to be spending my time catching up on my "to do list". It grew again. With the deadline of birthdays and gifts needed, I am going to be very occupied.  All this to say I am taking a wee break to get into the studio for some serious sewing. I'll be back just after the Easter break with all my emotional faculties back in order and completed "list of things to do." 

Toodles...and have a wonderful Easter!!

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