lemonade stand

FINALLY, I can get almost caught up with blog posts. I think I have just one more post to share from June of Greta’s little recital photo shoot she insisted on. I also have a photo shoot to share that I did last weekend of an adorable 11 month old and then some fun photos of the kids from our Santa Monica Pier/Arcade adventure this past Tuesday. Hopefully I can share all of those this week and then I haven’t taken my camera out of my bag for days so there’s no photos waiting to be edited. So then I’m not behind! Oh wait…, I just thought of a few house projects waiting to be loaded from my SD card. One is an easy how to that I want to share with you, and one is a work in progress, so no rush. And they can wait. . .

Oh how my kids love a lemonade stand. We happen to do a combo lemonade and cookie stand, because who wants just lemonade when you can have cookies too? It’s really the whole experience they look forward to. The list making, the grocery shopping, the sign making. It’s a whole week long event. And this year like last year our friends, neighbors, and family were very supportive. I had a garage sale the morning of the lemonade stand and I left a little list with Aaron to make sure the finishing touches were done before we put the signs up for the stand. One of the things on the list was to put together the actual stand. My aunt and uncle passed down to my kids the best invention of all time. It’s these pipes with connectors and a manual of how to build basically anything. And lemonade stand is in the manual. This year however Aaron got all fancy on me and used some fabric from my stash as a canopy and tablecloth. The result was super cute.

Garden Goods

So glad I’m not alone in the documentary watching category. Loved the suggestions and am going to keep a list of all these films.

We have been flavoring our steaks with fresh cut rosemary from the garden. And we had our first few tomatoes! Delish. It’s high season for grilling for us and we are making great use of our barbecue and backyard. One of my favorite things about summer-dinners outside while the sun is setting. It could just maybe, possibly, also have to do with the fact that I don’t have a stove to clean up afterwards. Just maybe.

We can’t wait for our brussels sprouts to be ready. They are Aaron and Gunnar’s fave veggie.

I’ve been on the lookout for some melamine sets for outdoor dinners and I picked these and these up today at Ikea.

secrets

I’m a closet documentary watcher. There. I said it. Do what you must with this information but just don’t judge me. They’re amazing. I love them. In fact, if I was alone I would choose a documentary over any other genre pretty much every time. For awhile I secretly daydreamed about organizing a documentary club. Then I realized how geeky that sounds. But think about it, once a month getting together and watching a documentary. Snacks, drinks, documentary films. Heavenly.

A few I’ve watched recently that I have really enjoyed:

State of Mind- I believe from 2003. Filmmakers went to North Korea and followed 2 families whose daughters were training for the country’s Mass Games. Very eye opening. I really had no idea how much America was hated by this nation until I watched this film.

Spellbound- Awesome. Follows 8(9?) kids all gearing up for the National Spelling Bee. I know it doesn’t sound like it can be that interesting, but it really is. The kids are from all over America and every different background.

Jesus Camp- Wow. Another eye opening one. I never knew that 75% of homeschoolers are Evangelical Christians. And 25% of Americans are Evangelical Christians too. Serious stuff.

Some documentaries I am looking forward to watching:

I must be the last person on earth to not have seen Food, Inc. yet. It’s sitting on my dvd player waiting for me to watch. I think I have avoided watching it because I know that the rest of me is going to have to get my mind around complete change. We are about 70-85% organic in this household, and I know once we watch that film, it’s not going to be enough. But I’d be ignorant if I don’t learn about the reasons why these choices must be made for me and my kids. I just really am procrastinating, horrible reason. I’m aware eating out is going to be a whole lot less enjoyable after I watch it as well.

Food Matters- discusses obesity and healthy eating choices, along with how safe our food is.

American Teen- follows obviously teenagers through relationships, friendships, drama, struggles, etc.

Children Underground- discusses Romanian law to forbid contraceptives and encourage impoverished people to have more kids.

Art & Copy- about advertising and the ones behind the slogans everyone knows.

I can go on and on. The list is endless. And one of the reasons I have access to so many great films is our Netflix Instant Queue. Do you have one? Why not? It’s free. Free. We are netflix members with the lowest level, I think we pay $9 a month. We get one dvd at a time, which is okay. But the instant queue is AMAZING. They gave us a disc we insert into our Wii and then we stream live and choose from a bazillion movies. For FREE. Every movie on there is FREE. Do you understand yet? Movie night with the kids? FREE. There’s dozens and dozens of films in every genre constantly changing all the time. Get it. Now.

Enough of my secret telling for one day. I feel vulnerable now.

final new york photos

Yep, these are the last of them.

We checked out of The Standard late Saturday morning and met our friends in Central Park. You can see their photo shoot here from that day. Then we headed to Brooklyn.

We were staying the next 2 nights with Dave and Rachel in Brooklyn Heights. Aaron’s brother Judah was waiting for us as we walked into the lobby. That night we enjoyed a little cocktail party and visited with friends. The next morning we slept in and then headed to the city for some amazing donuts. A M A Z I N G. Worth the line people. Worth. the. line.

We also stopped in the West Village for some awesome coffee, McSorley’s for a few pints, did some vintage shopping and then enjoyed some classic NY pizza. Again.

We parted ways with Judah and sent him on his way back to upstate New York. Then we headed back to Brooklyn to meet up with our other friends, James and Edith. We drank and laughed, and got dressed. Then headed back to the city for a celebratory anniversary dinner. Friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to enjoy on our trip at a restaurant in Chelsea, Buddakahn. Wow. The restaurant was extremely stylish, and if I could describe a restaurant as hot, it would this place. Hot. Not temperature hot. Just hot. The food was delish on top of it.

We completed our evening with a walk around Chelsea admiring the beautiful moonlight. So sad it ended. Definitely was the trip of a lifetime for Aaron and I. We got to be together(alone!) and with people we love and miss dearly.

72 months

Six. Six. Six. I cannot believe you are six years old Sawyer. I remember so vividly the day you were born, and it couldn’t possibly have been SIX whole years ago! Each of my children bring me such pride, such joy, and you. You are no different. My heart literally puffs out and swells when it comes to being able to call myself your mother. You are a gift, not just to me, but to the whole world. I have said this year after year, and I am not surprised that this year I say no different, but if only people saw the world through your eyes. It would most definitely be a better place. A place so full of justice and understanding, one of imagination and pure joy.

Even though I act like I don’t like it, deep down inside I savor the fact that you are still so attached to your stuffed animals. Foxy still gets packed into every overnight bag or suitcase that is ever taken on vacation. He remains in the crook of your elbow each night when I come to tuck you in and make sure you’ve fallen asleep. And although you haven’t changed through all these years in who you are, you have. You have come so far from the little boy that had such difficulty with change and transition. You roll with it now and things don’t destroy you the way it used to. Kindergarten has brought such a level of comfort and routine for you. You have so many friends and at your teacher conference I was told that the only time you get emotional in class is if you feel misunderstood. You want to make your actions very clear so that no one takes an accident you may have done as malicious or purposeful. If you think you have hurt one of your friends’ feelings you immediately become upset because you want to make sure they know how sorry you are.

This has been a year of firsts for you. Not only have you started school. Real school. All day long school. School where you pack your lunch school. But you lost your first tooth. You learned to ride a bike. You got your first buzz cut. You went to golf camp. Everything is new for you and you soak it up with such enthusiasm and joy. I wish I could have just an ounce of your zest for life. And to think your  whole soul is just brimming with that.

You write me cards. Just because. You don’t let me see them until they are complete, but they usually go something like this, “dear mommy, i love love love love love you verry much. you are such a good mom and you do so much for me.” I could write over and over again about how you were my child which really taught me how to be a mother. And that would be the truth. You still teach me how to be a mother. I’m not the best, but somehow you think I am.

A few weeks ago during our Family Worship we went around and each kid was asked to name their favorite quality of their siblings. When it was your turn you told us that your favorite thing about Greta is that she laughs at your jokes. I could’ve melted right there. A big puddle of mush. You love to make us laugh. You love to make us excited. You want for everyone around you to feel the heightened sense of joy that you feel all day. And the truth is you are the joy. You are the one that creates the smile on all of our faces. It’s your laugh that makes us laugh. You are a joy to be around. You are a joy to love.

Our family would never be the same without you. Each day I look forward to what discovery you will make. What connections you come up with that all of a sudden brings understanding and order to your mind. I know that the years are going by faster and faster. It seems that I write these more often than once a year for you. But in all honesty, I can’t wait to find out what the next year will bring. I love you and I love the person you are becoming. And I wouldn’t want to slow that down for a second. Welcome to 6 my Soso.

corners

It’s been awhile since I’ve explored some corners of my home and shared them on my blog. First, this table has a delicious story. Delicious meaning free.

I have been searching high and low for a table just like this. Flea markets, craigslist, Etsy, Ebay. Nada. Some have been close, but not exactly what I had in my mind. That’s the hard part I have shared in the past. I have a picture in my mind, and it doesn’t always exist in real life. And being that I am not a furniture maker, nor have the tools to be one, I must search. And search. Alas, I found it on ebay. I won the auction and this gorgeous vintage antique table was mine. So $166 later after the auction and shipping I received a box in the mail. Right from the start I was bummed, because 2 of the legs were peeking through the box. I was leery opening it since I expected more damage inside. And yep, there it was. The top part of the table had detached from the main part. I didn’t even completely take it out of the box, but left it there and just snapped some photos of the damage and emailed them to the seller. I was beyond bummed. I could care less about anything but MY TABLE WAS BROKEN! They were super sorry and apparently the UPS store boxed it up for them and must’ve done a poor job. My sad table sat in the box in my living room for over 3 weeks. I then received the refund for the $166 and a note that he didn’t have another table like this one. He also mentioned to just keep the table and see if I could salvage it. I didn’t have much hope for it but dum da da dum, handy man Aaron took it upon himself to fix it up and it is like new. You cannot even tell where the damage was! And it was free! So she sits beside my bed as my new end table, and I love her.

I’ve seen tutorials everywhere for years of these hanging pom poms, and Jane made some years ago for one of Alissa’s parties. I have some trouble in the crafting department. I’m getting better with the whole sewing thing, but to fold accordion style confuses me. Do I fold toward me or away from me or both? I picked up all the tissue paper and it was Jane to the rescue this time. One day during one of her visits she sat and chatted at my kitchen island and 20 minutes later they were completed. They now hang in Greta’s room. Okay, do you see the organizational nightmare I have in her room? The boxes and boxes and bags and containers of stuff! The figurines, oh the figurines. Since she plays with them daily, along with her barbies, they have to be within her reach. And being that she is only 3 inches tall, everything is on the floor! What do I do???? I am so sick of seeing containers and baskets of figurines all over her room!

And for the last corner, my mantle. It has seen a new addition and I love it so. My first canvas wrap in my home and it’s beautiful. Love love love.