Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Marilyn recently mentioned that she would love to see some photos of our yard this spring.  Besides our peony disappointment, we've enjoyed some really lovely blooms this spring- both inside and out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bacon Jam

On Saturday we moved my Mom to a new house!  We are super excited about it because she's even closer to us and we can ride our bikes to her house (the children are envisioning even more frequent visits to see their Grandma).  It didn't make sense to hire movers to move her 10 miles down the road so we imposed upon a few friends to help move her.  Ron, John, Tucker and Craig were so generous to help for the day and we really appreciated their hard work.  I was trying to think of something I could make as a little token of appreciation- some manly food!  Of course, bacon came to mind.  I had made this Bacon Jam for Bryce for Valentine's Day and it was a hit, so I decided to make a jar for each of the guys.  It's a slow cooker recipe and pretty easy to put together.  It's delicious as an appetizer, on burgers, toast, pizza and a slew of other things too.  To quote Bryce, "Bacon makes everything better."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  Our area had the most wonderful gift of all today... RAIN!  We really needed it and today we have had steady rain all day long.  This morning Bryce and I had our coffee sitting on the porch, listening to the rain.  It was lovely.

Today, in celebration of Earth Day, we had mini cupcakes topped with a little chocolate globe.  It was a sweet treat that we enjoyed before we read books that were all about the Earth!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peony Troubles

I've had some really disappointing news as far as our garden goes.  As you know, I love peonies.  I've planted at least a dozen (probably more but I try not to count) and eagerly anticipate the red little stalks appearing every spring.  This year the stalks appeared and I got giddy with anticipation.  However, that anticipation quickly turned to concern as the plants stopped growing and started to look deformed.  I finally called Klehm's where I purchased many of the peonies and sent them a picture of the plants.  The first question they asked made my heart sink.  They asked me if our lawn had had any treatment and yes, it had.  Never before have we had a professional treat our yard, but this year we decided to try to get a head start on the weeds that we have battled in the past, and of course we wanted a beautiful, green lawn.

The gal at Klehm's believes that it is chemical damage to the plants- most likely caused by drift.  She advised that we cut down the foliage and wait until next spring.  Unfortunately, it is likely that the peonies will not come back but only time will tell.  I'm sad that we won't have beautiful blooms this year and likely next year (though I still have 6 or so that are doing just fine).  Also, it's disheartening to think of starting over when these plants had gotten settled and would be that much bigger this year.  I totally understand that if this if my biggest disappointment right now that we are doing really well and life is good.  But still.

P.S.  Obviously, we are reevaluating our need for a chemically enhanced lawn!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Red Back Door

When we restored the siding on our house we went ahead and replaced our back door because it was starting to rot!   I wanted a wood door, but after speaking to lots of people about it I came to the realization that it too would eventually rot since we don't have adequate coverage from the elements over the door.  Also, everyone I spoke to mentioned that doors aren't made like they used to be.  I know that this sounds cliche, but apparently new growth wood is simply not as durable as old growth wood was.  It makes me sad to realize that we simply won't ever have old growth wood again.  The new door is fiberglass and I'm very happy with it.

We painted the new door red and it makes me happy!  I love having the pop of color on the back of the house.  This is not the original red that I picked.  After they painted the door, I was disheartened to realize that the original red was not as vibrant as I had hoped and it seemed to me to have an almost pink tone to it.  I lucked out because they had to repaint the door due to some adhesion issues and so they painted it with the new red.  What do you think?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Grace has a lot of freckles and she loves them!  After our recent trip to the beach they have really popped out (sometimes even joining forces).

When I recently spotted this poster I knew I had to get it as a little love gift for Grace.  I can't wait to hang it in her room!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Savannah and The Savannah Safari

Since Savannah, Georgia is only 45 minutes away from Hilton Head, we decided to go for a visit after we left Jeni and Bill's house.  It had been a very long time since I had been to Savannah and I remembered it as being beautiful, ancient and sort of mysterious!

We started out the mini-trip with a wonderful visit with two of our favorite families.  They happened to be driving through Savannah on their way to Tybee Island at the exact time that we were arriving.  And it was lunch time!  A few text messages and we had arranged for a lunch meeting!  It was so very fun to see them and visit a bit!

After we got settled in at our hotel we went for a very long walk through the historic district of Savannah.  We meandered through square after square, stopping to admire the trees, monuments or prolific Spanish Moss!  We also stopped for what was potentially the best ice cream we've ever had at Leopold's Ice Cream (it was called Savannah Smiles and it had girl scout cookies in it!).  We even got caught in a rain storm!  We made it all the way down to the riverfront and found a place for dinner.  After that we were ready for bed!

(photo by Harris)

The next day, before we headed home, we went on a "Savannah Safari."  This safari is a walking tour in the historic district that is geared toward school age children.  We picked up a booklet for each child at the Andrew Low House which was also where the tour started.

The Safari is basically a treasure hunt where you look for animals in the architectural features of historic Savannah.  

Each object has a poem that you fill in as you spot the item.  

We got to look through gates and gardens, walk through parks and streets and gaze upon  cemeteries and churches.  

We even learned some history about Savannah along the way!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hilton Head

Last week, during the children's spring vacation, we took a trip to see Bryce's sister, Jeni, and her husband Bill.  They live in a beautiful home in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  We had such a lovely time and their hospitality was amazingly wonderful.  Our days were filled with pool time, beach time, put-put golfing, pool time, walks with Shiloh (their schnoodle), bike riding, pool time, eating yummy food, picnicking, pool time, relaxing, kite flying, pool time and even more pool time.  Can you tell the children enjoyed the pool? The children got a little too much sun even with tons of sunscreen.  We even saw dear friends who were also vacationing in Hilton Head!  All in all it was a memorable, wonderful vacation.  Thank you Jeni and Bill!

(Harris is crying in this picture because someone touched his poor sunburned back!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Baskets- Bubbles

The children's Easter baskets this were were perhaps my favorite ever (I think I say that every year?).  As you may know, the Easter Bunny always picks a theme and runs with it.  This year both the children's baskets had the same theme- bubbles!  They were very happy baskets as you can imagine!

This bubble gun is awesomely fun!

Every basket has to have candy.  This is from PapaBubble in NYC.  I love the play on words.

I love, love, love this bubble wand.  I hope she has it forever!  It says, "laugh, dance & blow bubbles."

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