Thursday, July 29, 2010

Colors of July

Foreword: I follow a blog called "Life Looms Large"...Sue's pictures are always so beautiful!  At first I felt a little lame reading it (because, you see, she was actually my mom's 'blog friend' first and it felt quite lame to copy my mother, as though I couldn't find my own friends). :)  Eventually I got over it and I thoroughly enjoy her blog and her inspiring photographs.  Each month she does a post called "Colors of [whatever the current month is]".  I finally got my act together to participate, so here we are...
Colors of July in northern Georgia
Most of the color is in my garden right now.
 Zinnias...and a butterfly...and cosmos
 Serrano peppers
 Poblano peppers
 Sweet banana peppers
 Sweet potatoes...this picture doesn't do them justice.  Even though the leaves look chewed, the plants are healthy and the colors, variations of green with deep purple thrown in the mix, are so pleasing.
 I LOVE the spiral shape of the expired clematis
 A stray vinca flower that popped up
 This is a hot month in the South, and a lot of the colors start to fade a bit.  We're likely to have another surge of color when the nights cool off a bit in a month or so, and then our autumn colors will start in October or November.
Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to go here and see the July colors from other places far and away!

Get in the truck and drive

The title of this blog post is a common household saying around here (we heard it from my dad-in-law; it's part of a story but I don't feel like typing it all!).  The main gist of it, though, is not to stand around and try to figure out how something is going to get done, but to just do it.  Get in the truck and drive.  Well, anyway, we took it quite literally today!  We hit the road at 7:30 and home just before was a long day of a million or so errands, but we got them done -- phew!  Another list accomplished before we start school!  Here are a few highlights of the day...
The library...Abigail would take a truckload of books every time if I let her. :)
 David was in the middle of picking books when he heard the siren call of construction work (our library is being renovated)...he spent the rest of the time watching them dump gravel and run the compactor.
 They both earned free Chik-Fil-A meals by completing the reading requirements at the library's Summer Reading Program (nine chapter books each -- great job, guys!).  I took them to a special Chik-Fil-A that we'd never been to's called the Dwarf House and the kids loved entering through the pint-sized front door!
 A highlight of the day for me...a quilt shop!  I'd never been to this one before and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  (And I found the fabric that I was after...peach tone-on-tone for Abigail's quilt.  It was slim pickings, even at the quilt shop...apparently peach went out with the 1980s and nobody but me wants any these days?!)  David insisted that he should take a picture of me there...all of the excuses I wanted to offer him for not wanting to be in the picture were ones that I KNEW would come back to bite me the next time I wanted a picture of I sat nicely!!!
 Our last stop was to pick up our friends' bird, who is staying with us while they're on vacation.  She's very sweet and no trouble to keep.
 Mindy is quite fascinated with the new houseguest.  I think she is more curious than anything (although I do not plan to test that theory!).  I am pretty sure she is whispering, "Come over here and let me kiss you, little bird!" :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another happy home-day

Today was another pleasant day at home.  The kids played together very happily...
 Pretending to be dogs!
 Abigail has gotten brave enough to jump off of the third step.
What a year of big achievements for her!
Ready - Jump - Splash!
 Even after a late night at church, they still had enough energy for twirls and smiles...but they were very happy to be tucked into bed. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer days are slipping away...

...but we're enjoying every moment of them while they last!
The kids have been busy playing...
 Royal family
 Karate practice
 Fort-turned-spaceship-turned-school table-turned nice perch for sitting and coloring
This morning we went for an early swim to beat the heat and to get the pool to ourselves (and, unbeknownst to the kids, to burn off some of their energy so that I could throw myself into a project when we got home!).
My project for yesterday and today was to get the schoolroom in order.  This was a rather big job for two, I hadn't yet cleaned out all of last year's stuff...and two, I made major changes to the set-up and furniture in the room.  For those of you who haven't followed the blog for very long, our schoolroom is actually the 'breakfast nook' end of our kitchen.  Limited floor space and big windows that leave little wall space make it a bit tricky to achieve a perfectly satisfactory arrangement.  The cats were very helpful all along the way. :)
 I am very happy with how it turned out and the kids were very excited to see it ready, too. No sarcasm here -- they truly are excited!  In fact, they've been so excited about school starting that they've been playing school the last couple of days.
 May that enthusiasm continue as the school year progresses! (...because look at this exciting curriculum just waiting to be explored!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The beginning of the end...of summer!

This is our last week of summer break...yes, we start early compared to schools up North, but it's pretty average down here.  Besides, our Augusts are too hot to be outside during the day, but our Mays are beautiful, so we'd rather do school in August and be set free a couple of weeks into May!  There's still time before dinner to enjoy the pool after our school day is done, that's why we're gearing up to start school next week.

Last night we celebrated the beginning of the end by taking the kids out for ice cream at Bruster's after church!

And on the way home (although this picture doesn't do it justice) we got to enjoy a huge, golden moon as it peeked over the trees...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer garden

I have been so remiss in posting about our garden!  We have been harvesting cucumbers in abundance for over a month now...serrano peppers and sweet banana peppers are coming steadily...poblano peppers are coming along...tomatoes aren't doing wonderfully but we've had a few good ones...the kids' flowers are beautiful and attracting many butterflies...the sweet potatoes are going great-guns...I harvested the rest of the corn today...and the sunflowers are towering (one of them is at least twelve feet tall! I need to get a close-up picture of them sometime soon).  Here is a basket of today's produce (the cukes are hidden at the bottom).

One of the things that has always bothered me about the garden is how hard it is to mow and/or control the weeds up close to the fence.  Bruce recently tilled a swath around the perimeter for me and today I started laying a thick layer of newspaper and then Bruce hauled the mulch over for me to spread.  Doesn't it look tidy?  I've only gotten halfway around, but I started with the most-visible side so that I can smile every time I look out the window. :)
For dinner we enjoyed a marinated flank steak, baked potatoes, and fresh corn on the cob.  We raced the rain...but the rain won!  Doesn't Bruce look cute under Abigail's pink umbrella?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Annual summer visit

My parents have been here for the last week for their annual July is always part-project and part-relaxation, and we enjoy every minute of being together!  I didn't take many pictures, so visit my mom's blog posts here and here to see more pictures. :)
This is a typical dad being goofy, Abigail giggling, my mom knitting!
 Bruce & I went on a "date"...a benefit event with one of his clients. We enjoyed the evening together and the kids enjoyed having the grandparents all to themselves!
 I finished another quilt for Quilts for Kids.  My mom and I each got one and finished the tops when I was in Florida in June.  I also got to quilt it on her short-arm on the pictures to see the quilting detail up close.  I finished handsewing the binding and got it in the mail this past week.
 The cats, after a little prerequisite posturing, settled into friendliness.
 We enjoyed pool time, too.
 My parents headed home today (and made it safe and sound)'s always sad to say goodbye, but we had a wonderful week together and I have all sorts of happy things around my house to make me smile...Abigail's revamped room, fabric for a new quilt, a yard that has been touched with my dad's magic, and a washing machine that actually spins at the end of the wash cycle (thanks, Dad), just to name a few!

My cats were tired out after the visit from their "fur cousins", as my mother calls them. :)  They took a long nap together!
 And the crowning moment of today: tonight was Abigail's chance to christen her new "princess bed" (her room is also the guest room!).  I bought the headboard/footboard at a garage sale two summers ago and it has been waiting for its moment of glory!  My mom and I put in a LOT of elbow grease...we took it apart (to undo someone else's attempt at reinforcing it), sanded it, put it back together and added real reinforcement, then painted it.  We also sewed the bedskirt and created the "princess canopy" with yards of tulle, a hula hoop, and fishing line (flower garland to be added when I find the right one).  Abigail was so very excited to sleep in it...she "oohed" and "aahed" and just glowed!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fair warning!

I am going to do something I don't usually do...backdate some posts.  I don't like it when one day gets a glut of posts...and I have quite a few to if you don't get here from an RSS feed, you may want to scroll back through the last few weeks so you don't miss anything! :)

Goodbye nursery...hello little girl's room!

Because any wise woman knows that mothers are (almost) always right, and that following your mama's advice (almost) always leads to a good end, I am going to take my mother's advice...this morning she emailed me and said "...don't worry about catching up the blog, just begin again today-then you won't be behind!"  So here we are.  I'll stop stressing about how far behind I am and instead, just start with "now", and catch up (or not) as time allows!
Yesterday and today I have been repainting Abigail's room, which was decorated as the nursery.  Originally I had planned to strip the wallpaper, too, but Abigail intervened and begged to keep it because she likes it so I didn't have to deal with that messy job!  Instead I repainted the baby-green upper half with a medium-dark orchid (Sherwin Williams 6556 - "Obi Lilac" from their Duration Home's wonderful paint!).  Here is the project up until now...tomorrow we'll put her room back in order, and when my parents visit soon, my mom and I will start to add some special touches.
 The paint went on much lighter than I had expected...but the wet-to-dry transition was dramatic, and by the time I made it all around the room the first time, I was relieved to find the color I was hoping to see!  Look at the difference.