Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I only managed to get a few cards out this year, but it was a small improvement over last year, when I sent none. Basically if I saw you or if you sent your card to me early, I sent you a card in return. Otherwise, I just fell too far behind.... not to mention forgot to mark down which cards were sent versus those that weren't! Oops! Next year. Really. I want to actually send them to ALL the people I want to send them to. I should probably start in June. Not kidding. Please know that I was thinking about you and hoping your Christmas was wonderful!

We were blessed with a visit from Brian's sister, and she's awesome, so that was fun. :) Overall we had a pretty quiet holiday, and we had new challenges with the recent passing of Brian's mom and my grandmother, but it was still special, and I am thankful. Since I am, yet again, behind on blogging, I'll have to update you on them another time. There is so much to say that I find it overwhelming, but as it is important to me, I hope to do it soon.

Here are a few photos from our December. ....I still haven't finished sorting through them all, so I might add more soon. A Belated Merry Christmas from all of us!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not So Little Any More

My little monkey is getting big! He's been a kindergartner for a full week already, and I'm still getting used to it. He doesn't tell me much about his days, despite my desperate digging, but I gather he is loving it so far. What a blessing! I haven't heard from his teacher yet, so it's hard to gauge exactly how he's doing, but it's clear that he's excited to walk to the bus stop like a big kid and do all the other simple things big kids do. He has been craving the diverse schedule with more variety and activity for some time. I've always had to try hard to keep up!

He's playing soccer again too. This time around the practices are still pretty basic and full of fun, silly games, but he does get to play actual games too. They are fun to watch. Not unlike T-ball this spring, all the kids are extra motivated to really get in there and score! He starts ice hockey in just over a month. Something new!

Speaking of new, Thomas has switched over from soccer to cross country this year. It's too early to tell how much he'll like it, but I'm excited for him. Can you believe he is in the sixth grade already?

Thankfully Logan is still providing me with my daily dose of silly, made-up songs, funny faces, and hugs with giggles.  I'm glad I still have one little one at home, to keep me company and teach me things.

I love my boys. ♥

Just for Fun

Back to crafting. It has been a while since I've made something that wasn't knit or crocheted. I'm guessing that's because I tend to become overwhelmed easily and like to be 100% available for my boys at all times. With Gabe starting kindergarten this year, however, I'm down to having just one kiddo at home, and it reminds me of when Thomas was little. It is amazing how much easier it is to accomplish tasks with one little guy at my side than with two. Logan also is usually a bit more low key than Gabe, and he still naps (half the time, anyway) so I think I'll be attempting more small projects as the year progresses. (Don't get me wrong; I miss Gabe lots, though I know he is having tons of fun at school.)

I'm not sure exactly how it started, but I probably stumbled upon someone else's lovely idea for an altered Altoid tin once upon a time and felt motivated to look further. I stalked Pinterest for a while and gathered ideas, and one day I finally remembered to buy mints. Choosing the rest of my materials was a little chaotic. I had all three boys with me at the craft store, which was quite small, and trying to sift through ideas while watching them and responding to their needs (not to mention their arguments over who could carry the basket) was no guarantee for success. Still, I found a pack of really pretty autumn scrapbook papers, several silk flower stems, and some sweet little stickers, plus three different one dollar Angry Bird coloring/activity books for the boys. With my birthday coupon in hand (and a sale on all the flowers), it ended up working out okay after all.

I originally intended to use the flowers to create a sort of shadow box.  I was going to gather small stones and sand to line the bottom of the inside and then fit in flowers and tiny pumpkins in order to create a little scene.  Once I started crafting I abandoned the idea for the time being and went back to my other plan, which was to decorate a second tin to hold some of my small knitting notions.  This is too decorative to toss in a bag, perhaps, but I'll use it home, at least during this time of year.

I hope to make many more, perhaps as Christmas gifts for my nieces and nephews; not like this one, but individualized to their likes.  I thought I might design a magnetic travel game or two, fill one with small LEGO blocks (totally stealing that idea from Pinterest), make some with small animals tucked in with a blanket or sleeping bag and pillow, and maybe even fashion some small clay figurines for a whole miniature room, complete with accessories.  The possibilities are truly endless.

Of course, I might find that my dreams are too far-fetched and impractical (I can knit and crochet pretty cleanly, but when it comes to other sorts of crafting I tend to throw things together as I go along, and the result is often a complete fail compared to the glorious pictures I've gathered in my mind.)

At least for now I'll have this!  I've used it quite a bit already. ♥

Monday, September 02, 2013

Reunions are good.

When we bought our house in New York we researched just about everything, but one thing we had no way of knowing was just how friendly our neighbors might be.  When we discovered that there were kids living all the way up and down the street, we were pleased.  Going outside in the evenings became somewhat routine, but often times we weren't in our own backyard; rather we were on the street with the other families. Kids would ride their scooters and bikes.... or just about anything else... and parents would gather and talk, often while throwing a ball to one of the the boys, or while helping the little ones.  We quickly learned what a huge blessing this was.  We became good friends with our neighbors directly across the street.  Thomas, in fact, found his best friend in Luke, and Gabe and Logan always loved to play with Olivia.

When we moved to Vermont we were excited, but we knew we would miss our friends and neighbors in New York, and we still do.  That's why last weekend was special.  It had been a full year since we had seen our New York neighbors, but it was like we had never left; the mark of a true friends, for sure.  We met up at the site of two old forts-and a lighthouse nearby-in Crown Point, New York. Starting with a brief museum introduction and a picnic lunch by the water, we enjoyed a beautiful, relaxed afternoon, exploring the ruins at the southern tip of Lake Champlain.

Thank you, guys, for a great day.  It was so refreshing to spend time with you!