31 January 2012

Vocabulary Lesson

My boy’s vocabulary continues to multiply. He’s super fun and I love his words.  Whether or not he gets it quiiiiite right…


This is a “House section”, aka, a housing development.


“Fire sprinkles” are what fly out of fire when it is stoked.


A “Steam roller” is used to roll out cookies.


He loves to drink “White water Coke”.


This is a “Whiskers”.


Grammi and Poppi played “Bee-nokoly” with him in Ohio.


Sweet N’s favorite property was the “Yai yai berks.” Ha!


The projected words on the wall at church is actually a “Magic wall.”


These are “Fire sticks”, naturally.


Which would make these “Ear sticks.”


And we have “Crew-nuts”


and “Glitters”.

I do hope you learned much from today’s vocabulary lesson.

30 January 2012

Felt Baking Kits–Hearts!

Recently I created these homemade felt baking kits for my two little munchkins. They were a hit!

It would make a super cute Valentine’s gift for the mini-mes in your life and there is still time to make it happen before the 14th of February.


Here is the whole kit. But I’ll show you some details…


The ‘dough’ that gets rolled out is two layers of tan felt. I doubled the felt so that it would feel less flimsy than a single layer. It would definitely work with one layer also. I spent most of my time zig-zagging around the edge of these pieces and if I’d only done one layer, it wouldn’t have been necessary to zig-zag at all.


Using a cookie cutter as your pattern, cut the shapes out of the felt with a sharp razor blade. That way your little baker can cut and re-cut the perfect shapes each time.


The pan and spatula were bargains and I added my own details…


I love tiny details. And these small details help to keep the whole set along the same theme and make it easy to identify that it’s not my spatula that I suddenly find missing when I’m trying to scramble eggs. But it also makes it possible to distinguish her rolling pin from his rolling pin, if you know what I mean and if you understand the importance of being able to distinguish! the two. Two bakers fighting over whose rolling pin is whose are not happy bakers. (Yes, I made a boy set too!)


I covered a bargain hot pad with my accent fabric and trimmed the edge with pinking shears. Easy peazy.


Who wants a cookie without toppings? Okay, I’ll take a cookie any ol’ way, but it’s more fun with icing and sprinkles!




I also included this sweet apron. It was mine when I was tiny, but it wouldn’t be hard to create your own.


Lastly, I sewed this cute bag to gather all the bits and bobs.


Here’s the boy kit. It’s so manly, eh? His apron is a dish towel with a length of black binding tape quickly sewed onto the top. He looks oh-so-handsome with it on too!


And here are the little details on the boy set. So fun.

In closing, I have a Warning: DON’T attempt stars unless you’re really committed… it was much more difficult to zig-zag these felt shapes than the hearts. I really wish I’d just chosen a circle or something, anything without 10 sides!

My kids love these sets. I have even hauled them to church as a quiet activity and it worked. My happy little bakers baked away. Until my littlest baker started hitting her spatula on anything hard that made a noise. Oops. What are you gonna do? She’s two! I still called it a success!

So there ya have it…

Felt Baking Kit

mop it up mondays

29 January 2012



My daughter is passionate about the kitchen rag. She asks for it at each meal and then complains if it’s not wet enough. “Yai yai!” she demands. So I wet it and pass it on over.


And she will go to great lengths to make sure she gets every last inch of the table clean.


That’s what you call dedication. Ha!

If only I could get her to help me clean the rest of the apartment. Oh my…

26 January 2012

Quote of the Day

H: Mom, is it summer?

Me: No.

H: What season is it?

Me: Winter.

H: Okay then, I’m doing a wintersault instead of a somersault.

25 January 2012

H’s First Homework

My boy started preschool a couple weeks ago and looooves it. Like, totally.


It wasn’t long before he came home with his first homework assignment. I think I may have been almost as excited as he was.



He was super concentrated on his assignment, which was to connect the big shape to the little shape with a line.


He did it with almost no help from me, but as you can see, he didn’t take the ‘short route’ between the shapes. He did NOT want to have to cross one line with another line and would take the loooong way around to avoid having to cross lines. I had to do quite a bit of cajoling to get him to finally cut across the magenta line near the bottom right corner to connect the big diamond to the small diamond.  Silly boy!


And here’s lil’ missy, who also completed a project when she had a playdate the other day. She was so proud, showing me the second I walked in the room to pick her up and talking about her project and her flower all day long…

24 January 2012


Sunday afternoon I lay in bed after a rare and wonderful nap.  Swedish foam and down comforter on a wintery day are an amazing combination. I think I could have laid there till the next morning…

I stared up at the ceiling trying to decipher shapes and faces out of the dimple dots above me as my mind was wandering around the world and back.

I was feeling so reflective, pausing to remember in detail our home in Africa. I was walking through our apartment laying my mind’s eye and my thoughts on various details that I love. That I miss. And I was fondly thinking of our friends there. I miss them too.

Enough time has passed that our life there has largely become idealistic in my head. I think this happens naturally when you are separated from a place or person for a significant amount of time. However, I’m smart enough to know that life there wasn’t perfect and that it comes with a heap of ‘character-building’ experiences, DAILY.

But I still miss my white tile countertop and my santuko knife. And the local market. And my gas stove.  And I really, really miss my friends. For a short time that afternoon, I felt like I was back there again. It was nice.

“The gift of reverie is a blessing divine, and it is conferred most abundantly on those who lie in hammocks or drive alone in cars. Or lean on hillside fences in Kentucky. The mind swims, binding itself to whatever flotsam comes along, to old driftwood faces and voices of the past, to places and scenes once visited, to things not seen or done but only dreamed.”

William Nack wrote those prose in his article “Pure Heart” about Secretariat in Sports Illustrated. I read the book last year and read his article soon after. This paragraph struck me as some beautifully crafted sentences and I wrote them down and have read them many times since then. 

If you ask me, reverie is also conferred on those who snuggle in a warm bed on a frigid Sunday afternoon. And it was a blessing divine.

23 January 2012

Quote of the Day

I think this is my first time posting a Quote of the Day from someone other than a family member.  This is the first and will not be the last. Words hold such power and wisdom. They challenge and inspire, don’t they?

It is the good things that keep us from the best things.

–Anne Ortlund

21 January 2012

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

I reached a new level in my Mama experience this Christmas. My boy H made me a gift (with Grammi’s help)! It was the first time he has ever made a gift for me. Oh. My. Goodness.

The tears welling up in my eyes really took me off guard as I unwrapped it and saw what it was. My heart EXPLODED when I opened this treasure.


It’s a hanky. (Yes, we’re a hanky family and proud of it. Cotton fibers are so much nicer to the skin than the paper fibers of tissues.) My son colored a rainbow of his favorite colors on his Mama’s new most favorite hanky ever. It's beautiful and I love it. It can’t be explained. Also, it's way too lovely to ever actually blow any of my snot into it. Just too darn special.

Way. Way. Special.

20 January 2012

Hearts ‘n Stuff

Tonight I decided it was high time to decorate for Valentine’s Day. You agree? No? You think I’m crazy. But that’s okay!! I don’t care!

As a side note, I ordered a four dollar kids book about Saint Valentine and I’m super excited to read it to my kids (or watch Mike read it to the kids, which is much more likely) and learn how the holiday started... I know it’s roots aren’t traced back to Hallmark. I also know I could just google it, but I’d much rather have a book.

Aaaanyway, I brought some things from Ohio decorate with (I love shopping at my Mom’s house!), and they certainly make do in our current temporary place!



I sewed these little (not-handmade) flowers onto this gorgeous crocheted lace. I like this little garland so much I do hope I can find somewhere to put it all year ‘round! ( I talk as if I have a home… ha!)


The subway art was downloaded from eighteen24 – a lovely site – and framed in a thrifted frame.


And I had no plans to make this little guy (gal?), but I saw the supplies when I was digging around in the sewing box that I grabbed out of storage a few days ago, the idea popped in my head and I whipped it up. I love it!

I don’t think these will be the last pink and red and hearty things you see from me…