Thursday, February 12, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real}: RenFest Edition

It’s that time of year again! The Arizona Renaissance Festival has opened it’s gates to transport us back in time to an age when Kings and Queens ruled, men were Knights, and women wore chainmail bikinis. Wait, no. Corsets.

This past weekend we made our yearly visit.

 

{pretty}

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Jacinta and Ari wore the dresses that are being slowly passed down from girl to girl each year. But Veronica was very excited to wear a dirndl that belonged to Omi (my mom). It was a gift from her Omi when she visited Germany as a child. This picture doesn’t do it justice, it really is just lovely.

 

{happy}

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One of the girls’ favorite parts of the day was sitting and playing music with this lovely lady whom I did not get a picture of, unfortunately.

 

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It’s one of the things I love most about the Festival, that the cast are so welcoming of children. They make a big effort to interact and often have small trinkets to give away, much to my children’s delight.

 

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I think they would have stayed there for hours if they could have.

 

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And then there’s this guy, dressed as Link. Gets me every time.

 

{funny}

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When Moira first attempted to climb the steps up to this slide, she only made it about halfway before coming back down. A couple more tries and she still wasn’t comfortable going all the way to the top. Paul lifted her onto the slide a few times and let her go. Once she had that taste she couldn’t be stopped. It was straight up the steps and down the slide, all on her own, over and over and over. It’s hard to see her face, but this little fairy girl loved that slide. Pure joy.

 

{real}

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One of our long standing Ren Fest traditions, in addition to eating a smoked turkey leg, is enjoying a Renaissance icee.

 

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They are tasty and refreshing at the end of a long day.

 

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We usually split a couple, but some were not on board with this idea.

 

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My vision of the family happily sharing a treat together, relaxing on the green, with the late afternoon sun shining in through the trees and Tartanic playing nearby…well, it didn’t exactly work out. But the icees still tasted good. Huzzah!

{pretty, happy, funny, real}, capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Friday, January 30, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

 

A little late on my phfr this week, but late is better than never!

 

{pretty}

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I’m getting close to being done with Jacinta’s quilt (finally). It’s a Disappearing Nine Patch using mostly aqua, red and white fabrics. Hopefully I’ll be able to share the whole thing soon.

 

{happy}

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This guy gets the happy spot today. He is just too full of cute and smiles.

 

{funny}

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It’s citrus season and we’ve been eating a lot of oranges around here. So it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Judging by Moira’s laughter, it was the most hilarious thing ever.

 

{real}

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Sorry for the gross filter pic, but is that a Lego in the dishwasher? I don’t know how that even happens.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}, capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Like Mother, Like Daughter today for {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

{pretty}

fabric

Some of my recent fabric acquisitions. There is a wide world of fabric out there, friends, all accessible so easily via the internet. It is very dangerous. These pretties are both limited edition collections from Art Gallery Fabrics (my favorite!) and this picture doesn’t do them justice at all. The top is Gleeful by Sew Caroline, and the bottom is Priory Square by Katy Jones.

Just adding to my stash, and my long list of projects!

 

{happy}

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Seeing these kids all cuddled up together really does make me happy. Veronica is a great big sister! Sebastian is getting to be chunky, and that is a typical Momo pose if I ever saw one.

 

{funny}

cheeks

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The cheeks! The expressions! He has lots of both. This guy cracks me up.

Also, it is very hard to get a good picture in our poorly lit house whilst baby is bouncing all over in the jumperoo. Blurry to the max.

 

{real}

meatballs

This child. Oh, this child. Here she is, holding in her little hands two stolen meatballs that she had hidden in her nightstand. From the previous night’s dinner. She must have stolen them right out from under my nose while I was cooking. Ariadne, counter-surfer extraordinaire.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}, capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Secret Eating

This morning I caught Ari red-handed with these meatballs.

 

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She snagged them from the counter last night while I was cooking and hid them in the drawer of her nightstand.

Because who knows when you’ll need a high protein snack?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Meal Planning, A Habit for 2015

I’ve done meal planning on and off over the years, sometimes more successfully, sometimes less. I’ve certainly noticed that the times I keep up with it are less stressful because I have one less thing to think about. The meal preparation still needs to be done, but the decision-making does not. And that makes a big difference in my day.

In the past I’ve used a spreadsheet to keep my meal plan, but there were a couple of big flaws in that system for me. First, I had to sit at the computer to use it. And that meant distraction became a huge temptation. Sometimes before I knew it, I had frittered away my meal planning time doing any number of other things. The other problem was visibility. My meal plan was never readily accessible in the kitchen, which is one place where I really needed to see it.

 

menu

When my sister-in-law gave us this menu board as part of our Christmas gift, I knew it would be a perfect way to get back in the habit of planning. It takes care of the two big flaws I mentioned above – I don’t have to use the computer and it lives in the kitchen where I see it regularly. In addition, it’s portable, so I can sit at the table with the grocery ads and get my shopping list done simultaneously. And it’s flexible, so meals can easily be switched around or substituted as needed. That aspect came in handy when I was hit with the double whammy of nasty cold plus mastitis. Having a couple of easy second-string meals lined up meant I could languish on the sofa in peace. Haha, just kidding. I have five kids. But at least I didn’t have to worry about dinner.

What a thoughtful gift, right? I’ve been using it for two weeks now and it’s been a huge success!

Do you meal plan? What system works for you?

Monday, January 12, 2015

A 2015 Reading List

Some things I noticed popping up a lot around the beginning of January were people’s lists of books to read this year. I have never been that intentional about what I read, just moving from one thing to whatever seemed interesting next, and when I saw this 2015 Reading Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy I decided to do it.

You’ll notice I have more than one book listed for some most categories. That’s either because I couldn’t decide between them, or because the book I chose is part of a series and I need to read the preceding books first.

A book you’ve been meaning to read: Pope Awesome and Other Stories by Cari Donaldson. I bought this book last year and promptly misplaced it. This year I’m going to find it and read it!

A book published this year: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars 2) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. Which means first I must read The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars 1). I became a Veronica Mars fan in a major stream-fest last year so I was excited to see there are books in addition to the show and movie.

A book in a genre you don’t typically read: Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. The genre I don’t typically read being non-fiction. It’s not that I don’t EVER read it, just not often. I am a fan of both of these funny ladies so I have high hopes of enjoying their memoirs.

A book from your childhood: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Both classics that I remember enjoying.

A book your mom loves: The Soul Sanctified, which is more of a devotional, but I plan on including it in my prayer time. She just happened to give us a copy (thanks, Mom!), so I’m ready to go.

A book that was originally written in a different language: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I liked the movie but my husband said I need to read the book, so I am taking his advice.

A book “everyone” has read but you: Unplanned by Abby Johnson. I really do think most people I know have read this, and I haven’t yet. Another possibility is What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, which I have seen mentioned by several of my favorite bloggers. On the internet, several sure feels like everyone, so.

A book you chose because of the cover: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It looks intriguing, and the description just makes it sound more so. Also, Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) by Marissa Meyer. It was actually the upcoming Lunar Chronicles book, Fairest, that caught my eye, but I must start at the beginning.

A book by a favorite author: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton. Two of my favorite authors, two books I haven’t read yet.

A book recommended by someone with great taste: The Once and Future King by T.H. White and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susana Clark. Both of these were recommended by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas on her list of books that have stuck with her, so they should be great!

A book you should have read in high school: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. How I’ve never read this, I don’t know.

A book that’s currently on the bestseller list: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Heard of the book, heard of the movie, decided to see what the hype is about.

And that’s it! My plan is to read most of them (I’ve started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell already), but some I will listen to whilst cooking, cleaning, quilting, etc. We’ll see how I do!

What do you have plans to read this year?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Blog Revival Edition

What do you know, here I am blogging again, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since the last time.

Today I’m linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for some 7 Quick Takes fun.

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The other night, Paul sent Ariadne to the kitchen so I could wipe her face. She came in saying “Please, I can’t live like this!”

 

-2-

The girls have been into putting on plays this week. Today’s installment was St. George and the Dragon.

 

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St. George. “Do I look a knight, Mom?”

 

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The damsel. Not in much distress, apparently.

 

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January means this guy is 4 months old!

 

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I thought it called for a mom-and-baby selfie.

 

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Being 4 months old, Sebastian graduated to sitting in this some of the time.

 

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When you have four older sisters, you have to endure the pink faux-bumbo. Please note the awesome old man hair.

 

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The girls all really love their little brother, and are usually eager to help take care of him.

 

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For example, here is Veronica teaching him Bible stories (how the pattern blocks fit into this, I’m not sure) while Jacinta attempts a swaddle. Or something.

 

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Moira has discovered a love of dressing up, just like her older sisters.

 

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Much fairy. So fashion. Wow.

 

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But sometimes tragedy strikes in the midst of fun, and the shoes just won’t stay on.

 

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Finally, because we all know how much I like pictures of sleeping children.

 

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That about sums it up.