Thursday, May 28, 2009

our favorite garden gnome

I have the coolest neighbor. Seriously. She is the nicest lady.. loves my kids, and I find myself chit-chatting with here almost daily.

Don and I call her our garden gnome. Often we look our the window and see sights like this...

Miss Diane in all her loveliness tending to her garden. On this rainy day last week, she was out there working all day and I couldn't help taking some pictures of her and wandering over for a visit.

I love that I trust the people who live around me. I know I can count on them and they will be there if we need them.

Both of my children love Diane. Enrique is always watching for her and asking to go over to her house to play. Anabel waves to her when she leaves for work in the morning.

I never knew that a neighbor could make me smile on a daily basis.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

little sprouts :: a garden report

Well, we FINALLY have some little sprouts in our garden!

I think all that rain really helped, but it did manage to make a mess of things! We had to spend quite a bit of time "repairing" our garden, cleaning up what looked like a bit of a flood that washed our little sprouts all over the place.

And, thanks to the generosity of a couple of our friends, we now have some tomatoes and peppers in the ground waiting to grow big!

So great to have nice people around us! I got emails from 2 different people asking if we wanted some extra plants that they had started. And since we have this HUGE plot, both thought we might want to take them..

Heck, yeah! On our to do list was to go get some tomato starts and now we don't have to! totally cool. I love it when life lends a hand like that...

Some protection from the wind until these little dudes can hold their own...

And what did we do with the kids while we fixed things, pulled weeds and spent way more time down at the garden than we had planned?

Why, make a big, huge mud puddle of course!!!

By the end of this morning, Enrique was running around naked, introducing himself to little girls - "do you like my underwear?", Anabel looked like a mud monster and my car now resembles a pond... ahh, good times!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

rain and mud

We are seeing alot of both these days...I am kindof loving it, reminds me of when I lived in Seattle, only I know there is sunshine in the future! I have been doing SO MUCH laundry! Mud is all over everything, but that means my little ones have been out playing, which makes me happy!

This is a lake that has formed outside our front door. I am not kidding, it was almost coming inside! Don put a board across it to the steps.. a bridge was the only way out!

And even though her face is oh so grumpy looking here (but dang cute!) she has proved herself a mud baby these past few days.

And well, this one, he is the mud king! Can't seem to keep him away from it!

And all this rain has made it super easy to add a few new "pets" to the crew..
WORMS! They have been running errands with us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

craft hope

If you pay attention to what goes on around here, it won't surprise you when I say that I have been in a craft slump. Just.Not.Motivated to make stuff. I try, but then feel blah and walk out of my craft room feeling defeated. Well, not anymore!

I came across this AMAZING project, called Craft Hope. And it has truly inspired me, on an incredibly deep level. After reading about it, I found myself rising out of my chair and walking directly into my craft room and getting started.

On what? Making a little baby doll for a child in Nicaragua. While I was working on it, Anabel kept wanting to take it from me. Mind you it is only an unfinished head at this point. But she just loves to cuddle with her babies. So I gave it to her. And promptly started a second doll for her to keep.

This way I can work on the doll to send to the orphanage while she plays with the other one. Then "trade" her and work on the second doll for a bit.

I think it is kind of cool, and super sweet to be able to tell her that there is another baby in Nicaragua just like the one she has! That is something special.

The deadline to send the doll is fast approaching, so I'm hoping to get the dolls done in the next week and will for sure post pictures then.

In the meantime, go check out Craft Hope:

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

Even if you are not a doll maker, I'm sure there are other projects down the road that will inspire you to get your craft on AND make a difference at the same time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

staying organized

With Don back to work, I have had to get my head around "being a housewife" again. There is lots to think about, keep track of and pay attention to. Not to mention that I have a website I am building, a wedding I am planning and our toy business to mind.

I have read about and even used in the past a Home Management Binder for keeping track of all this stuff, so I thought with me "going back to work" as a SAHM, it was time to get myself organized again.

I put together a new binder to keep me organized and top of things. And, I have to say that so far it is working! My house is cleaner than it has been in months, I have started to confront our finances in a new, powerful way, and lots of new ideas for my work stuff have started flowing.

The binder is just a 1 inch 3-ring binder. I put a little fabric in the front of it to pretty it up. Personally, when things are pretty and neat, I have a tendency to use them more.

I set up tabbed sections for all of the things I need to find easily.

Here is a peak inside:

1. The Daily Plan.. I made a sheet that holds 2 days worth of daily todo lists. They are specific to our life and the things I like to get done on a daily basis.

2. The Weekly List.. All the stuff that needs to be done every week like mopping the floors, paying bills, going shopping, etc. I refer to this list when making my Daily Plan.

3. Meal Plans.. I only plan one week out.

4. Grocery List.. I made a standard list that has most of the things we get each week and space to add other/misc items.

5. Budget.. A place for me to print our monthly budget and keep track of things like debt we are paying off.

6. House Projects.. We have lots of things we want to do with our house, this is where I jot down ideas, plans, etc.

7. Craft List.. A list of all the things I want to make.

8. Kid Crafts.. Ideas for art projects or other cool things to do with the kids.

9. Thrifting.. We go thrift store shopping almost every week. I always forget what I'm hunting for, so I started a list to write things down that we need so when we go I know what I am looking for.

10. Honey Do.. Things that I want Don to do around the house.

11. Holidays.. I have Birthday and Christmas plans for what we are going to make for everyone.

12. Tabs for work stuff.. I have one for wedding planning, one for Chubbas 'n Boop and one for my Cloth Diaper site. I just have paper here for me to jot down notes and ideas as I think of them. Sometimes I will have to-do lists here as well.

13. Notes.. Just some extra paper for me in case I need to write something down that does not fall into any of the other categories.

14. Inspiration.. quotes, pictures, etc.. things that inspire me and remind me of what I am committed to creating in my home.

I am such a list maker! I totally dig crossing stuff off, it makes me happy and helps me to stay sane.

I have seen lots of ideas for books like this out in blog land and the one thing I can say about them (in case you want to make one yourself) is to really think about what works for you and don't get stuck with it having it be a particular way. My way of doing it probably won't work for you, it takes a little time to figure out a system that you will actually USE. Tools like this to stay organized only work if you use them!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

bed head

Yup! She is my daughter! I think this is pretty much how I look in the morning.. Only she's cuter...

Monday, May 18, 2009

a perfect weekend :: thrift, food, mountains, firsts, garden

Don had his first official weekend after going back to work, and it was packed full of everything we love..

- Thrift store shopping ... (I'll share our scores later this week.. good stuff!)

- Dinner party ... We host a "Natural Family Potluck" at our house once a month. I only took this one picture of the kids sitting so patiently and quiet waiting for food. This is a new tradition we are loving.. Lots of good conversation, yummy food and a little chaos!

- A trip up to the mountains to go fishing ...

Hanging out at the lake means we get to do lots of our favorite things:

Hiking ...

(like my makeshift baby carrier? I totally forgot mine and used our picnic blanket!)

Climbing ...

Digging in the Mud ...

Discovering ...

We saw this tree that had been struck by lightening.. amazing!

Fishing ...

I FINALLY got to see my husband catch a fish! I seriously was thinking I was bad luck.. he never catches fish when I'm with him.. but not this time!

And the big highlight of the day? Enrique caught his first fish!!!

Look at how proud he is of himself!

But, I think Don was even more proud! This was a big day for our little dude, but an even bigger deal for his fisherman papa.

And then, fueled by the excitement of the first fish, Enrique hiked all the way out ALL BY HIMSELF! He usually needs to be carried.. but not today. And, it's quite a hike!

After we got home from the mountains, we went to water the garden. Hanging out in the sun with our kiddos giving a little love to our vegetables, both Don and I had one of those perfectly happy moments where all feels right in the world.

It was a perfect weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

zoo impressions

We love our local zoo! Such a pretty place to wander around.

A few pics from our visit yesterday:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My mother's day was perfect! My mom came over and Don made us all some waffles with whipped cream and strawberries.. yummy, oh so good!

Now, the kiddos want whipped cream on something every morning!

Enrique made me a book..

I mean, really, it can't get much better than that!

Oh, and we have some good news! Don found a job doing some granite work. This is really just in the nick of time as his unemployment is up in a few weeks. He started yesterday and really likes it!

It is kind of weird being here all day without him. 6 months of us all together has been really nice. But, it is also kind of great to start getting back into a normal routine with the kids. It has been like being on permanent weekend mode the past few months. And, while I love weekends, my house is not as clean as I would like, I feel a little scattered and I have not done some of the things I would like to with the kids. A good weekly rhythm is something I am really looking forward to getting back into it!

And, in case you are worried.. Don is still totally committed to making toys! It has become his way to stay sane and explore his creativity.. so Chubbas 'n Boop is still open for business! Hopefully one day it can be his full time job, but for now.. it is a fun way for us to make a little extra money and for him to keep his artist self happy.

Life feels normal again, which is kind of perfect!

Please do not use any images or content without permission. You can contact me at happydelz [at] comcast [dot] net. Thanks.

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