Monday, July 30

Little Dresses for Africa

 Savannah is on a mission.
She has set some goals for herself for the next year, her final year of high school and possibly her final year of living at home.  And one of those goals is to use one of her talents and do something good with it.  She loves to sew!
 I knew of a charity called Little Dresses for Africa.  They collect handmade dresses and then send them to little girls in Africa that are in need of basic necessities like clothing.  I know several friends that have served this charity and have had wonderful experiences while doing it.  I showed her their website and she researched it and came up with a plan.  She has a goal to personally sew and also spread the word and teach others how to make these needed dresses.
Do you want to help her?
If you sew... there are many tutorials on line for how to make a 'pillowcase dress', which is simply a dress made without zippers, buttons, or snaps.  It can actually be made from a pillowcase or from yardage fabric.  Savannah's personal favorite pattern is found HERE
You can send completed dresses to Savannah and she will package and mail them to the charity or you can send them directly to Little Dresses for Africa yourself (mailing/packaging info found on their website).  Please come back here and comment with how many dresses you send because Savannah would love to keep a running total of dresses donated throughout her Senior Year.  I will add a spot on my sidebar with that current total too.
If you don't sew... Savannah could use monetary donations to help with the cost of materials and shipping.

If you want to read an incredible article and watch videos about how Elder Jeffery R. Holland feels about the people of Africa... go HERE!  You may want a kleenex handy.

I'm very proud of my girl... I think you may have heard me say that a few times before, grin.

Wednesday, July 25

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 24

A sure sign of healing...

I am a casual gal, flip flops are my footwear of choice... well, barefoot is my absolute favorite way to be, but flip flops are a good back up choice.  BUT with that said, I have always loved to dress up, especially for Sundays.  For the past few years my back pain and resulting tension/muscular headaches have thrown my balance askew.  For someone that has always had a great sense of balance and always felt sure-footed... this loss was noted and mourned.
 So since my recovery... I am taking 'baby steps'. Starting with what I call 'cheater heels', aka wedges, and hopefully I will graduate back to a very feminine 'real' heel.
We got a boat a few years ago.  I have loved being on the Lake since high school, when I would tag along with my friend's family each weekend to Honeycomb.  But I haven't spent much time with MY family on the boat because the boat was not too kind to my back and simply jumping in and out of the boat to swim or get on the dock was terrifying because my whole sense of balance was off.

Just last weekend we went on the Lake so the boys could try out a new kneeboard we got.  I made special note of my ability to balance on the nose of the boat to leap into the water.  I didn't need any help climbing the awkward ladder to get back in, nor did I need help balancing to hop back on to the dock.  I actually turned to Shawn at one point and exclaimed... 'I feel so agile!'.  My coordination is back.  Probably sounds silly... but it brings me to tears.  I am oddly, just now, realizing how much I had altered and given up over time.  Of course, the complete lack of pain is HUGE... but the little moments of realization... of me reclaiming all the little things I had avoided or banished from my life for so long... now that is TREMENDOUS.  So grateful!

Wednesday, July 18

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 16

My Girl...

Try as I might... I just canNOT stop time.  
Savannah is a Senior this school year.  She has BIG plans come this time next year.  
She is so like me, loves home but plans to leave it asap after graduation.  She has big plans to make the next several months memorable.  Plans to continue volunteering at a nonprofit organization, HEALS (Health Establishments At Local Schools).  Shawn supports this organization and its goals and Christian recently centered his Eagle Project around a HEALS Clinic in our county.  She also wants to start an ongoing project involving her love of sewing... stay tuned because she plans on explaining it here in a post... hopefully some of you can help her efforts!  She will continue to work at Shawn's office and she has a heavy load with her academics.  Whew!

While Savannah is busy enjoying her Senior Year,
I will be busy taking notes...
Knowing I truly could not stop time, I decided to do the next best thing... Document it.  
I picked up a journal loaded with tons of pages.  I started the first entry on June 15th 2012, the morning after the last day of her Junior Year.  I plan to journal every day until her last day of her Senior Year.  365 Days.
In my helplessness to keep her from growing up on me... I will at least write of her successes, her strengths, write specifically of those moments she brings me joy, moments of pride.  I'll be sure and document some of our fights, keep it real, sure to give us good laughs later.
I want to write down for her my favorite scriptures, my favorite quotes, my favorite things about her.
Everyday I will write for her... about her... and then I will gift her this journal as part of her graduation present.
I don't want her to know about this until she receives it.
At that time, there will still be many pages left blank... I've planned it that way (hence buying a big ole fat journal).  My hope is that she does indeed 'fly the coop' and has a blast in the process.  I pray she continues journaling where I left off.  
This next year and the next few after that can be such tremendously challenging and incredibly exciting years... I want her to have it in PRINT.  
Oh, how I love my girl. 

Wednesday, July 11

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 9

Smorgasbord of a post...

My mother-in-law, Vicki, took me aside shortly after Shawn and I got engaged and shared a very insightful tidbit on my future groom.  She said, "Shawn is very even tempered UNLESS he is tired or hungry.  Don't try to reason with him if he is either of these two things... just feed him or order him to rest!"  Time and again this has proven to be very helpful info.  BUT recently I have found another 'trigger' for some irrational behavior and ranting in my husband.  That newest trigger?  Weeks without rain.  Yep.  Especially when pouring rain is spotted just yards away, yet we only get a few drops.  Especially when we get the horrendous winds related to said thunderstorms but no rain.  Shawn's sense of reason is lost entirely when the sky goes black, the wind whips, the lightning strikes, the thunder booms... and still no rain.  It isn't pretty folks.  I think my dear hubby is so tired of dragging hoses all over our acreage fighting what I think is a losing battle mother nature and trying to keep trees and plants alive.  I have learned to go hide when he is ranting... I attempt to grab any innocent children in arms reach and save them too... good thing is these rants are quite dramatic yet short lived.  Ohhhh, do we need some rain,  BAD!!

Today I went out and gathered some maple branches that were victims of the latest storm winds.  I figure there should be at least one good thing that comes of the thunderstorms of late... so I brought them inside and plopped them in vases.  Not sure if this reminder, of our rainless state, inside our house will push dear husband over the edge, but I'm taking the risk.
 On our round family room table I put some Solomon's Seal that was flattened to the ground by the wind.  If you haven't planted any of these, and you have a shady spot... you really should, their foliage is breathtaking!
 My favorite things to put in these French Spice Jars is hostas and ferns. 
My quinces have stopped blooming but I think their branches are lovely all on their own.
 My niece, Emma, came over for a few day last week.  One of the first things she said, "You changed your dining chairs AGAIN?!"  Observant gal.  Grimace.  There have many different chairs that have served as dining chairs but these are my favorite by far.  I was wanting to add a natural element here and the woven chairs were the perfect texture.
 And these are so comfortable too.  I want to find a different seat cushion, these are the ones that came with them and they are an outside vinyl-like material... but for now they are fine.
 These are the pillow covers I got for the banquet benches for Summer.  Love.
 I fell in love with a new floral fabric at PotteryBarn called 'Vanessa'.  It has the perfect grey blues and also introduces some fantastic yellows and muted greens.  I used this fabric in some updates in our bedroom too... hopefully I can post about that finished project soon.
 I have been stalking this bench at PotteryBarn for quite some time.  Actually they first introduced a daybed in this design but it was too large for a nook upstairs that I want a daybed for.  But then they made this bench in the same design but I couldn't pay that much for it.  2 weeks ago I got a huge 'family & friends coupon' for PB and I ordered the bench immediately.  I love, LOVE the shape, and I think it looks great on the front porch... but the color is blah.
 I think its because it is right next to these chairs which are brown too.  Brown overload.  Thoughts on a good paint color for the bench?  I am leaning towards a grey blue and then heavily sand it so the brown comes through.  Not sure though?!
 I moved this huge canvas out to the front porch.  For 5 years I could not figure out something fill the huge space in this nook.  I stole this canvas off the wall in my bedroom, the size is truly gigantic.  The funny thing is that Shawn did not even notice it missing off our bedroom wall, NOR notice its new presence on the front porch.  Observant much?
 The canvas is wired to the wall so it stays put and is under the overhang of the porch enough that it is doing quite well out there.  I think I want to paint the bench a blue pulled from the sky of this canvas...
A post with no rhyme or reason... very appropriate for our lives right now ;)  Summers tend to be crazy for us... but I'll miss the crazy when all settles down in the Fall, so I am trying to roll with it!

Saturday, July 7


Christian was assembling some picnic tables on Wednesday... when he reached for his drill, this creeper was right next to it!!  We see these 'beasts' all the time around the farm, especially in the tack room of the barn, but this was the largest one we've seen yet.  Shiver.

Thursday, July 5

4th of July

Every 4th of July, we invite friends and family out to celebrate.  This year we had a huge storm blow through minutes before everyone arrived.  It blew over as quick as it blew in, so we were able to regroup quickly and continue on with original plan to picnic outside at the firepit.  The 4 wheeler is running non-stop, and this year Chris brought one of his kids Power Wheels for the smaller kids to ride.  It was a huge hit and he brilliantly brought several batteries because this thing was NEVER sitting still.
 What do you want to bet these two guys were chatting about 'dentistry', snicker?!
 The fellas played tons of cards... and they were l.o.u.d!  Competitive much?! 
 Aunt Mimi brought the most gigantic marshmallows.  It tested the weight limits of the sticks Emma and Ty had gathered earlier in the day.  This kids were very impressed... bigger is better, right?
 We ended the night with fireworks, of course.  We lit ours at the same time as our neighbors and their friends just on the other side of the tree line, so we got twice the show!! 
4th of July on the Farm has become quite the family tradition along with Christmas dinner.  I'm hoping to add a few more 'events', party throwing has lessened in years past, but now that my back seems to be healed... let the excessive merry making begin!