Ramblings…

I just hung up two winter coats and a pair of toddler snow pants that were on the hall tree.  Oops.  Pregnancy can really throw ya’ for a loop!!

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My older girls are cooking one thing a week (DD2 sometimes makes a few other things because she likes doing it more!).  It’s a real treat.

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All caught up on Project Life pages from trips and every day life.  It’s such a breeze with the app.  It really is, I’m not just saying that!

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I love getting my daily dose of garden freshness.

I started a Facebook page for my blog.  Then I won’t feel bad “advertising” a new blog post every time on my main feed.

My daughter started a blog on organizing and babysitting activities.

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I love summer sunsets.  They cause me to stop and breathe and sit and watch!  And often my family finds me out on our deck and will sit and watch with me!  That’s the essence of slowing down to live and savor.

I absolutely LOVE catching real life moments.  A few of my favorites from the last week or so…

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A little girl ready to say grace,

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Summer is going by fast!  But that’s ok with me this year.  Less than 100 days of pregnancy left!!

Thinking of you…

Masculine cards are not my specialty.  It’s harder to not think about ribbons and buttons and such!  But I needed one to send out, and so while I was at it, I made another one for my stash.  I’m trying to increase my stash of cards for when baby arrives.  Enjoying a bit of blogging too, but I know that will go back to pretty much nonexistent when baby comes!!  I see my next post with be #200!

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The summer bucket list continues to get checked off.  We’re having a bonfire this evening (we listed several on our bucket list!) and tomorrow we’re going to the local university’s production of Mary Poppins!  DD3 is not going with us, so we’ll all be able to sit still and enjoy ourselves!!  Then a relaxing, casual dinner with dear friends (they are watching DD3!!) will be wonderful.

Have a wonderful weekend!

With Sympathy

The studio was so quiet and calm this morning as I sat making a few cards!  My oldest daughter took the youngest for a walk with her. I knew I had to grab this time and head to my studio speedy quick!  I had two sympathy cards that needed making and mailing asap.  I also have a few thinking of you cards and a thank you card to make.

I was able to crank out four cards.  Two to send and two for my stash (duplicates made!).  Both are made with all Stampin’ Up! materials and Pinterest inspired (of course!).

Source

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Source 

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Two cards are in the mail already!  Yes!!!

JOY

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(From the Pacific Coast earlier this summer!)

Finally took some time to get crafty this afternoon.  I’m not feeling very energetic and so I just got busy with this fun little sit-down project.

Heidi Swapp Marquee letters from Michaels

Heidi Swapp gold glitter paper from an 8×8 paper pack.

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And pictured below is today’s full-blown joy episode!  So love my kiddos!  None of us feels much like doing anything today, so they all piled on the bed where I was “resting”.  We have a busy weekend ahead (plus it’s going to continue being hot and humid…), so I guess we are crashing before instead of after!  We have been trying to teach Phebe that her name is not “two”!  She knows how old she is and that is her answer for everything you ask her.  So now her name is “Phebe YAY!!!” with lots of clapping!!  Because that’s how we kept responding when she would finally say her name instead of two!  Goofy girl!

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Happy weekend!

Ramblings…

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My older two kiddos are gone today and the littlest is napping.  Writing time again…though I should be prepping dinner and/or in my craft corner working on a little project I have in mind!  Ah the joys of what to do with much needed, little gotten quiet time!

So here is a random brain dump….

….I’m craving some newborn time.  Big time!  I savored DD3’s arrival and newborn days, thinking it would never happen again.  Or more so, because deep down,  I knew it would fly by.  It did.  And it will again when #4 arrives!  I can’t wait to savor that time again.  I’m already mentally letting go of things so I can dive into toddlerhood and newborn days (along with the teen and tween days of course…but they are so much more independent!!) and make the most of every moment.  DH won’t have quite as much free-time and we won’t have company coming.  I’m fine with that.  We didn’t have company here when DD3 was born, and I actually enjoyed jumping into our own little family routine together.

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….my u/s at ~20 weeks moved my due date earlier about two weeks!  Eeep!  Not sure what to think of that.  I’ve never had that happen before.  I don’t put a lot of stock in due dates.  I’m always overdue and induced.  But my most recent abdominal measurement at my prenatal check-up does agree with the u/s.  So I’m starting to let myself get a tad excited about the earlier due date!!

….a summer pregnancy goes by FAST.  Just sayin’.  Most complain about the heat but I can’t say it’s bothered me much yet (of course August hasn’t hit yet, nor have I sat through our 4-day church convention!).  We’ve been spoiled with a super nice summer so far.  A couple hot, humid days, but I just took lots of breaks and kept hydrated.

….enough on pregnancy.  DD1 is doing lots of babysitting for one family this summer.  It’s been hard to get used to!  But she loves it and she is an AWESOME sitter.  She always has tons of activities planned and heads up to their house with a backpack FULL of goodies.  And she gets paid well for her efforts.  Win-win!

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….I decorated for 4th of July after the fact.  We were not home for July 4th and I miss getting to decorate for it.  But it’s a nice summer theme, so I gave myself permission to decorate a bit.  I will plan for more next summer!

….DD2 wants to shampoo the living room carpet.  Have at it, I say!

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…two year olds are the best.  I love all their eccentric ways!  Currently DD3 loves a mini bumpy Mickey Moush (how she says Mouse) ball from the $ spot at Target!!  She even sleeps with it!!  Another day it’s  90* out and she wants her clothes off, but a towel wrapped around her because she is cold!?!

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…I bought this fun plate and sippee cup at Target.  So inspired by a friend’s daycare Instagram photos of the meals she serves.  So healthy and fun and the divided plate helps reminds me to serve up more than just a ½ sandwich, but to pull out some fruit and veggies!  I’m making up some tuna salad (inspired by my above mentioned friend’s IG photo recently) now for lunch tomorrow.  DD3 loves noodles, so it should be a hit with her.  About the cup….what mom isn’t on the search for the perfect sippee cup???  I’m liking this one so far.  The straw does. not. leak. …yet!

….a few yummy recipes we’ve tried lately.  I love all the garden produce and trying new recipes to use them.  I have the new Whole 30 cookbook coming from Amazon tomorrow.  Not that I plan on doing the plan.  We eat fairly healthy and so I’m just simply excited for more healthy veggie recipes!  I can’t wait to put my feet up and enjoy my new book…I’ll keep you posted.  I saw it at a big box store and should have let myself but it then…you know how it is when you get something on your mind!

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake (we were thrilled to get home from a recent vacation and still have cherries to pick!)

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Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie (I didn’t notice until after we ate and loved this that is was from one of my favorite foodie blogs!  Served with grilled pork chops and fresh beets below.)

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Vanilla cupcakes w/fresh strawberry buttercream (absolutely divine!)

Summer Kale Salad (scroll down her post for the actual recipe!)

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Good ol’ summer time…

Summer is about…

…bonfires and staying up late to eat S’mores!  Not a flattering picture of DD3, but she had stuffed her mouth full of a marshmallow and had to keep pushing it back in again and again!!  It was hilarious!

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…celebrating Father’s Day

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…celebrating birthdays!

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…going on vacations

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…eating garden fresh produce

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…enjoying blooms upon blooms

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….Amish farm fresh produce stands
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…refreshing drinks.  Fruit infused water, sun tea and lemonade.

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…watching the sun set

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….lots of outdoor play

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…quiet, un-rushed mornings

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…time spent with family at Grandma’s

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….lots of ice cream

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…fun times with my kiddos

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….celebrating July 4th,

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Ahhh, peace!

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I’m reporting back on my screen time limits to myself!  I’m thrilled with how I feel.  Granted it’s only a beginning and you and I know beginnings are full of fresh zeal and gusto!  At least for me!   I didn’t get online Saturday morning until a little after 11:00 am!  I got so much done and just felt calmer and more engaged in my little home life.  And I didn’t get on at all Saturday evening or Sunday morning.  A much quieter soul was mine.

Now the report that would be from a certain daughter of mine when she heard the list of “No screen time until…” wasn’t met with such enthusiasm!  Instead I saw tears and frustration and likely won the “Mean Momma” award instantly!  Mind you, things are not bad here with screen time.  They’ve already had limits.  But then my husband and I talked about it and decided we didn’t need to do all that, so disregard the whole last post, because we really aren’t going to do any of it!!!  I’m doing my list though.

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With limited time online Saturday afternoon, I got all caught up on my Project Life pages.  What a feeling!

Overall, I just feel more content, “feeling content in my own perfect little world”!  Quoted from this inspiring article.

A few of you mentioned being inspired by my previous post.  Thank you so much!  Sometimes it’s hard to admit you don’t want to run with the majority!  So I appreciated knowing I wasn’t alone.  Have you made some progress?

A few cards I’ve made recently,

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These fun, new postage stamps are inspiring me to get some cards out in the mail!

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Happy Summer!

No glowing screens until…

My favorite wildflowers are in bloom along our country roads!  Yes, I pulled off to get down in the grass and take this photo….a quiet country road I promise!

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I’ve been pondering what to do about keeping screen time to a minimum and enjoying summer to the MAX!  For the kids as well as myself…after all, what’s fair for the kiddos, is fair enough for me.  So!  I’ve put together a list for DD2 and myself. DD1 is responsible and doesn’t need this kind of guidance…trust me, she has already printed off reams of paper with summer goals, lists and ideas!  I need it, that’s for sure!  :)

The main sheet is downloaded and edited from here.

Here’s what the list look likes for DD2:

No glowing screens until…

 you are entirely ready for the day

bed is made and room is tidy

30 minutes of reading

30 minutes of something creative or productive

And then I’ve added at the bottom of the list,

Glowing screens will only be allowed for 20-minute intervals morning, afternoon and evening. More and/or less may be granted upon parental judgement.  If these guidelines are not followed, there will be NO glowing screens for that whole day.

My list will be similar:

No glowing screens until…

you are entirely ready for the day

bed is made, hotspots done, laundry started

30 minutes of reading and quiet time (before bedtime screen time!)

30 minutes of something creative or productive (ho boy!!)

I also want to implement no Saturday evening/Sunday morning glowing screens.  I tried it last Sunday and loved the added quietness to my mind/soul.   We’ll see how it goes!

Happy summer!!

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I’m craving pool time & summer fun,

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road trips,

bonfires & s’mores,

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time with family,

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eating al fresco,

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lots of down time,

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sunset watching from our deck,

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and time at the park,

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Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Sweet 16!!

My oldest turned 16 this week, so this is the card I made for her!

Another fun project using Project Life cards!  This one is from the Lucky Charm themed card kit.  I used the 3×4 specialty card and the “happy” gold sentiment.

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I used By the Number dies from Papertrey Ink for the 16.  I used some glittery gold paper from Hobby Lobby.

Stickers are Stickety-Doo-Da from Target!

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We’ve been outside enjoying some splendid weather.  Blue, sunny skies!

Like really blue!  This is my #nofilter picture of it this morning,

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When Phebe woke up, I opened her window and we were greeted with kitty hellos!  She loved that!!  “Come out and play with us” they were saying.  And out she went!!

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Have a wonderful day!

Currently…

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….looking forward to spring!  Bring. it. on!!!

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….loving all this girl has taught me about motherhood.  This is another favorite picture of her that reminds me of JOY unleashed!  I’m so thankful for her little life every single day.  I love my big kids too, but somehow DD3 is really helping me appreciate and love parenting and motherhood that much more.  x3 right?  I can’t explain it without sounding like I didn’t/don’t love my other kids the same. I do…but somehow parenting this time around just feels so much less intense and competitive and pressured.  Maybe because I’m older and see things with a difference perspective?  I’m not so pressured my other’s opinions.  Not so pressured by what someone else’s kid is doing/not doing.  I now know without a doubt that these years fly by…I don’t just hear it from others and say “Oh, I’m sure!”  I KNOW!  So I have less commitments for myself.  It’s just about being a momma and wife right now.  Nothing outside the walls of my home.  And that feels good and just right for me.

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….love cooking/eating good food.  It’s my most used creative outlet right now. I meal plan and scheme for good, nutritious food with the lots of fresh ingredients and vegetables.  We’ve hardly eaten any frozen/canned vegetables this winter and it’s been one of our healthiest!  Coincidence?  Who knows!  We all like to claim we’ve got it figured out!  Not!!  Photograph above is Rosemary Roasted Chicken w/potatoes.  Very good!  Served with roasted cabbage steaks.  Lots of fresh garlic…fends off germs & inflammation!

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….excited to have our own fresh produce again!  DH started a few seeds last night…onions, cabbage, broccoli and lettuce!  Talk about healthy eating!

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….love watching Phebe absorb everything.  We are learning lots of hand rhymes right now.  This is what the mommas on the bus say…not a very good photo, but it works for me in recording the moment of fun.   Shhh, shhh, shhh!

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….Love listening to Phebe play with her babies down stairs.  She LOVES being in the basement when Daddy is working down there!!

….You’ve likely all seen the poem, The Last Time.  Here’s my take on it.   I’m not a fan of the poem.  Savor the moments.  Live in each stage richly.  Then move along and the next stage will be just as filled with wonder and love.  And your heart will be full of all the “last times” without the grief of it being the. last. time.  I mourned all the “last times” with my older kids.  It’s hard on a momma’s heart!  With Phebe, it’s been different (as mostly stated above!).  I’ve really savored each stage.  For ex., nursing.  I loved it this time.  Each moment, I breathed it all in and just nursed her.  Didn’t read a book, didn’t surf the net.  etc.  I was fully present.  I did surf/read a few times and it felt like my heart was tugging at me each time to stop and be present.  Then when I nursed her for the “last time”, I wasn’t even aware of it.  We were both ready to move on and we did and I don’t think I shed a single tear this time.   But that’s just me and I’m not bashing anyone who has shared it with me or loved it themselves.  We are all different!!

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….my motto lately…

….working hard at eating much less sugar and spending much less money.  Ouch, LOL!  But it’s going good and a wonderful work in self-discipline and getting/keeping busy with what I already have!

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…..we’ll soon have a 16 year old in the house!  Whoot!  We’ve been busy planning her birthday meal and class treats (yes she still loves to bring in treats and you can bet her class mates and teachers still love it too!  A few of them still bring in treats too.).   We love using Pinterest for birthday planning!

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….reading lots of interactive toddler board books.  I reserve a bunch from our library, and then I save them for our church meetings.  Then they are new and exciting.  Books are slowly keeping her more and more occupied during meeting!

All for now!  I have a TON of March birthday cards to be making!!  I got the Sweet 16 one made yesterday.  I’ll soon be able to share a few!