Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding

I had no plans on getting up and watching the royal wedding.  But at 4:10 my eyes opened and I couldn't go back to sleep (this never happens to me, I love to sleep!).  So at 5:00 I called it a night, got comfy on the sofa and watched the wedding.  It was like watching a fairy tale and I loved every minute of it.  Her dress!  It reminded me of Grace Kelly's wedding dress.  My favorite shot of the whole wedding was when she peeked back over her shoulder when leaving the balcony.  I would want to get that last look too.

This morning Sonja hosted a fabulous royal wedding bash.  It was so much fun to go and watch the wedding with others.  She served all sorts of English goodies, including scones and tea.  It was optional to wear festive headwear.  I've decided that we should bring back wearing of hats and getting "dressed" for occasions.  Really, it's so much more fun that way!

I borrowed a hat from my Mom's good friend, Valerie.

If you watched the wedding, what did you think?

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Our Internet is back!  Yeah!  While it feels like Easter was forever ago and we've all moved on, I still want to jot down some Easter memories.  We had a lovely day that included church, Easter baskets, brunch at home with family and then a lovely dinner with friends.  It was a nice relaxing day for us all.  I hope you all had a wonderful day too.

photo by Harris

photo by Harris

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This is just a quick post (from my phone) to let you know that I've been absent because a storm took out our phone and Internet on Sunday. No Internet- the horrors! Hopefully, it will be back soon. I miss it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I'm always surprised at how beautiful our painted eggs turn out.  It's not at all easy painting on the small, sloped surface of an egg but every year my family out does themselves!

This year bird's eggs were used for inspiration.  Bryce started the trend when he painted a robins egg.  A discussion of the egg lead me to go get our copy of An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long.  This beautifully written and illustrated book covers the gamut about eggs.  It's gorgeous and informative!

Grace painted a booted warbler,

and Harris painted a black-necked stilt (from the cover).

Grace also painted a ballet scene that included her leotard, ballet shoes and a barre.

Harris made a flower garden.

My Mom made a colorful egg!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Egg Decoration and Carrot Dinner

Our Easter egg decoration and carrot dinner is one of my favorite traditions because it is easy and fun (past years are here and here).  This years menu consisted of carrot soup, carrot burgers and bunny ear salad.  For dessert I made bunny sugar cookies. In an effort to keep it simple I chose not to ice the cookies but rather I used cotton candy to create a tail and used a candy eye- I think they turned out darling!  Sometimes simple really is better.

For place cards I used a printable that was meant for cupcakes but it worked out perfectly for our purposes.

Our eggs aren't strung and hanging on our Easter tree quite yet, but we did get some really pretty ones this year.  I'll share them soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taco Night

On Saturday, we had a gathering of friends at our house to celebrate Bryce and Kristin's birthdays.  It was really nice to have the house full of friends.
(Unfortunately, Gretchen and Barb aren't in the picture!)
I knew that I wanted to serve dinner but I also knew that it needed to be something that could feed a crowd and was casual enough to eat sitting on the sofa, table or around the kitchen island since my table wasn't big enough to fit everyone.  I decided a taco bar fit the bill!  I made chicken filling and lime skirt steak and offered hard or soft shells and lots of toppings.  Laying out craft paper on the peninsula served as a fun way to jazz things up a bit and let everyone know what was what.

I found that the bonus of having everything labeled was that when it came time for me to put out everything (I didn't put the food out until the party was underway) I didn't forget anything.

For dessert, I made a chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting.  Yum.  As a side note, my father-in-law made me the gorgeous wooden cake plate.  I'm a lucky girl.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I had one of those delicious weekends where you are busy, but not in a running around like a crazy person busy, but rather a spending your time doing exactly what you want to be doing in that moment sort of busy.

The weekend included a girls dinner with old friends and new, a birthday celebration with great friends and a family evening painting this years Easter eggs.  It was the kind of weekend that is still making me smile even as it winds down.  I'm pretty sure that the "funk" has moved on and so have I (I think being on day 5 of antibiotics due to strep might also be helping)!  I'll post more details about the gathering and egg decorating soon!  I hope you too had a great weekend, what made you happy?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bryce's Birthday

Today was Bryce's birthday.  There are many, many reasons why I love my husband but that fact that when I make this sort of mess....

he always cleans up without complaint is pretty close to the top!  Happy Birthday Bryce!

Cranes for Japan

I, like most everyone else, was horrified to hear about the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crises that took place in Japan last month.  We spoke very candidly with the children about the disaster and also discussed ways in which we, as a family, could help.  One of the organizations that I discovered was Students Rebuild who has partnered with Do  They organized a drive for people around the world to make paper cranes for Japan.  Once 10,000 cranes are received a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation will be made for reconstruction efforts in Japan. Also, Students Rebuild will take all of the cranes sent in and make a art sculpture out of them.

We made paper cranes for Japan and in order to help the children understand the significance of the paper cranes in Japan we read the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.  This is the true story of a young girl who became sick from radiation following the drop of the atom bomb in Hiroshima.  The book is a beautiful retelling of her story and while I would normally not have read this story quite yet to Harris, I felt like it was appropriate in the context of our discussion.  It deals with some heavy topics, including death, but in a straight forward way.  The children actually handled the book very well- it was myself who cried the last third of the book!  In our reading of the story the focus was on Sadako and her efforts to make 1,000 cranes.  However, it's a story that I would hope my children will read again because as they get older they will take more away from the story in a larger context as to the long term affects of war.

As a Mom, I often find it difficult to find the balance of giving my children too much information about scary current events or not enough information.  We've always erred on the little information side of things, but as they get older we are trying to have more conversations with them about our world and what is going on.  How do you find that balance?

P.S.  We followed the instructions in the back of the book to make our paper cranes.  It turned out to be a great family activity and the children (especially Harris!) loved doing it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Farewell Playhouse

Over the weekend Bryce and the children took down the playhouse.  It needed to come down because it had outlived its usefulness - it was too small for a 6 year old and a 9 year old and it was starting to show signs of its age and exposure to the elements.  However, I was still sad to see it go.  The small little house represented small little children and seeing it go was another reminder that my babies are really no longer babies.

We got the "plans" for the playhouse from an old Martha Stewart Kids and it really was darling.  Sadly, it had a flaw that we didn't foresee and didn't play out well in the long run.  The door and all of the windows were completely open which allowed a lot of the outside to make its way to the inside of the playhouse.  For whatever reason this was always an issue for our children (I'm not sure why, they have no issue being dirty!).

So here's my question.  Do we build another playhouse?  Bryce thinks it would be a fun project to do when Al and Marilyn visit and the children are all for it (they also have opinions about what it should have in it - loft anyone?).  I'm worried that they are getting too old and that it would be time and money for something that wouldn't get used.  What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Favorite Things #9

A year or two ago, my mother-in-law, Marilyn, arrived for a stay at our house with a bag of this homemade goodness.  It didn't last long because I ate it all!  I'm not even sure that I shared with anyone.  It appears to be a mixture of caramel corn, dark chocolate chunks, mini marshmallows and graham crackers. All I know is that it is one of my very favorite snacks.   A few weeks ago a ginormous bag arrived and I'm fairly sure that during the week that it lasted I gained a few pounds.  But I don't care.  It's that good.

P.S.  I don't have the recipe.  To be honest, I've never asked because it's always a treat when it shows up.  However, I'm sure that if you would like to make this deliciousness for yourself, Marilyn would share!  All you have to do is ask.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Egg Garland

Friends, thank you for your wonderful suggestions of riding out the funk and just being.  That's exactly what I'm going to do and you've made me realize that perhaps "the funk" is necessary and good (though I"m still ready for it to pass!).  Thank you!

The one thing that I have managed to accomplish this week (and it took me 6 days!)  was making an egg garland for our stairs.  Harris was very helpful!

When we first looked at this house I was instantly smitten when I got a look at the staircase.  I immediately envisioned Christmas morning, prom and garlands!

Years ago, I clipped this picture out of Better Homes and Gardens.  I love everything about this look but every year I have put it off because the idea of blowing out that many eggs is completely overwhelming to me.

Instead, I just used regular old plastic eggs and though it is not as sophisticated as the inspiration garland, I'm really quite happy with it.

I used stretchy jewelry cord to string the eggs and having a very large needle was critical to making it easy and quick.

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