Day at Sterling State Park

>> Monday, June 30, 2008

" every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks" John Muir

"Strength lies in differences, not similarities"

"If you truly love Nature, you will find Beauty everywhere." Vincent Van Gogh

"Leave the roads, take the trails"

"Not all who wander are lost"

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strenght that will endure as long as life itself" Rachel Carson

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in" Rachel Carson


Sprinkler fun

>> Saturday, June 28, 2008

In the heat of the Summer
we sometimes forget
How fun it is
to get all wet
We giggle and laugh
as everyone knows
As we run and we jump
and get grass in our toes
Our sprinkler gives us hours of fun
It keeps us cool from the hot Summer sun


"I keeps it real"

>> Friday, June 27, 2008

keep it real

I was reading my friend, Kirstynn's blog, and I loved her keeping it real post. I thought...yeah, I should do that too. I won't mention my baskets of laundry that need to be folded, the crayon marks on the wall that need to be scrubbed and the 2 last star war movies that I'm dreading. So here it keeping it real!!!

Breakfast table needs to be cleaned

But I was too busy finding J & Z's chucks so they would look super-uper cute when we went to Target (silly mom stuff I guess~)

The windows need to be cleaned free of hand print and face smudges

But I got all my Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam canned (yummy!!!)

The playroom is in dire need of attention

But I was out hitting yard sales and adding to my collection of Milk Glass. Aren't these to die for and all for $1- Yippee!!

Thats my keeping it real folks. Things are never perfect in my house of chaos and joy, especially with two little boys (and yard sale season!) Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend. I know mine will be spent on ammending my embarassments above.


The Pits

>> Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life is a bowl of cherries, but canning them is the pits!

A little bit of picking

A little bit of climbing

A little bit of boys being boys (notice dirt and cherry stained mouth)


Works for me Wednesday!

>> Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I found this on The Childrens Nest blog. I had to try it out since my boys are obsessed with sidewalk chalk. We seriously go through buckets of the stuff. I have to say that I'm sooo impressed with this recipe. So easy to make and the colors are sooo vibrant! Look at the heart. Isn't that awesome? Make it up with your kiddies today! Hours of fun to come!

Materials needed:
2 2/3 cups quick setting Plaster of Paris
1/2 cup powdered tempera paint (can be found at most large craft stores, got mine at crafts2000)
1 1/4 cup water
rubbery mold in fun shapes (can be found anywhere- or use the plastic popsicle molds)

Mix the Plaster of Paris and tempera paint in a bowl. Add the water and mix until well blended. Quickly spoon the mixture into the molds. Let the chalk dry for at least 2 hours and then remove the mold. Then happy drawing!

J loving chalk since he was 18 months old (2006)

Z loving chalk since 18 months old too- I think they are wearing the same over alls? (2007)


A Pansy Garden

>> Monday, June 23, 2008

There was a time many years ago that I would spend endless hours at my Grams house. Mostly in the summer when I would go and spend weeks with her. I recall pulling weeds and picking dill. Smelling flowers and climbing her "green bean" tree in the back. Going up to the attic and going through her many trunks of junk that in my eyes were treasure. Trying on her old dresses and high heeled shoes. Spending countless hours going through her closets and wardrobe and digging through her jewlery. Gram taught me many things about life. She was the one that taught me how to paint my nails (always bright red or pink) and how to apply lipstick. She was the one that introduced me to gooseberry and strawberry-rhubarb pies. She taught me to love the "Price is Right" which I still try to watch sometimes. She was the first to show me how to sew and the most important thing she taught me was to love the garden and all that came from the earth.

This past weekend, my garden club, The Dundee Diggers, hosted a garden tour. I was fortunate enough to be picked to show off my garden. I was the only vegetable garden on the tour. I was looking back on photographs of my Grams garden and how spectacular it was with at least a whole acre plot dedicated to it (mind you this was in the city). It was gorgerous as the vegetables were littered between rows of sweet smelling flowers. In comparison, my garden sucks, but every time I pull a weed, smell my dill, or see a bleeding heart, memories of my Gram burn my heart. My eyes mist with longing that she was here so I could tell her how much I love her and show her how much I learned from her. I know without a doubt that my Gram was with me Sunday as people crowded my yard all day long and she was beaming with pride. She knows....

I remember Grandma's garden
The beauty and the grace
Of all the lovely plants
In that sweet small place
I remember Grandma's smile
As she planted, pruned, and tilled
Laboring with love and laughter
As this world with joy she filled
I remember Grandma's patience
When I ran amid the flowers
With her beauty all around me
We would spend those precious hours
I remember Grandma's garden
And I'm happy in the knowing
That when she knelt there in the soil
It wasn't just a garden she was growing

Grams Garden looking east

Grams Garden looking west (and there was still a dozen rows the picture didn't capture)

My Front beds (with the garden tour sign)

My garden (everything from watermelon, pumpkins to dill and cilantro- updates to come as it starts getting bigger)


Star Wars

>> Sunday, June 22, 2008


Since I am the last human being in the universe that has NEVER seen Star Wars, I was made to watch all of them this week (still watching episode 1 and only have episode 2 & 3 to go). I have sooo many questions. Episode 1 is totally confusing me. Help me out people?! I am failing the Star Wars test. The theme music is burned into my head and I go to sleep with images of little weird aliens that look like Teddy Rumpskin in a poncho without a hair cut , light sticks, a beeping robot and least I forget the Chewy creature that is said to roam the woods of northern Michigan. Oh my.......all this and I still don't think that I'm any better of a person because I've watched 10 hours of spaceships blowing up. Sorry Star War lovers! May the force be with me to make it through the next few hours.

Ewok - Star Wars



Feilds of Red

>> Friday, June 20, 2008

Speckled scarlet treats
ripe in a green picky patch
picking strawberries

We made our way to the strawberry feild today. Stained hands, red mouths, blotched shorts and we walked away with 10 pounds of the yummy "staw-bay-bee" (as Z likes to say). Plenty of jam, pies, and shortcakes to come! It was one of those feel good days. The weather absolutely perfect. A slight breeze that fills your nose with the sweet perfume of nature and gently lifts and wraps around your hair. I sat picking the red delicious fruit and watched the boys in delight as they would pick a berry and then come running to me to show me "the best berry ever!" It turned into a challenge, back and forth they would come. Always finding the best to show me and to put in their basket. I pray it will always be that way.


My "Country Roads"

>> Thursday, June 19, 2008


Most of you know that I was born and raised in good ole' Michigan. Home of the Great Lakes, the Red Wings, Deee-troit Basketball, The Tigers, snow, and cold. However, some of you have never heard of my hometown of Millington. There are a few that will read this and remember their roots as they grew up right down the road from me. My hometown was small and still is small. Where days are long and lazy. When riding bikes down the country roads to go to the "Curly Cone" or Murphy Lake was the highlight of a summers afternoon. When trips to the woods would last all day and imagination would run wild. Football, Festivals, Turkey Nob ( a giant sledding hill), building damns, baleing hay, watching the neighboor and his draft horses plow the feilds, catching fireflies. Oh how I remember the feilds upon feilds of dewy alfalfa sparkling with fireflies. Summer time always makes me remember my youth and the wonderful peice of earth that I grew up on.

Recently a friend of mine and I have been planning our 10 year class reunion. An absolute feat for a class of oh...about 120. ha! The funny thing is, this class of 120 started school together in kindergarten and graduated together. Most still stay in touch. Most still live in Millington. Its amazing to me to think that for 12 years we were all so connected. I am anxious to see everyone again. But in planning for the event, I am finding myself almost homesick for those simple days again. Reminiscing of my roots and where I came from and what had a huge part in molding me into the person I am today.

My friend sent me a link to this blog. Thought it would help explain "me":

Millington- 1922- Main Street (add cement and a stoplight and it still looks the same)


Doesn't work for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Apparently, since I wear red nail polish, talk too long on the phone and wear pj's instead of a nightgown to bed, I would be a "very poor" wife in the 1930's. Take the test to see where you rate. I can't be the only one that would be a sucky wife in the 30's? Some of the questions are ridiculously hilarious!!!!

Being a "failure" of a wife (in the 30's) reminds me of a great book I read a while back that I need to share. Rachel Zucker's book of poems "The Bad Wife Handbook" is a funny collection that looks directly at the difficulties and compromises of married life and motherhood (warning: some poems are really funny in a dark way). I enjoyed it and I think all you "failure" wives will too. Happy Reading!


Best Friends

Brother and brother,

together as friends,

ready to face whatever day sends.

Joy and laughter or tears and fights,

joined together tightly

as they ride through life


Homemade Crayons

>> Monday, June 16, 2008

I only need an excuse to get my creative juices boiling, and a birthday party was perfect! I used this opportunity to try out some homemade gifts. They turned out soo cool. At least my boys thought so. So much infact, that I had to keep some at the house for them. Heaven forbid I give all the goodies away. hahaha! I tried my hand at homemade crayons. I had seen a blog somewhere about how to make them and I was excited. I have about a million little peices of crayons. So the boys and I sat at the table and peeled the paper off the crayons. They thought this was tons of fun, but the real fun began when it was time to break up the bigger crayons into smaller peices. Then we put the little peices into the mini muffin pan. Popped them into the oven for about 10 minutes and let them cool. Once they were cool, they came right out of the pan and then TA-DA.....they were done. You guys have to try this neat craft. The boys love the crayons and really...they look so cool!

Home-made crayons:
Crayons peices with the paper peeled off
Mini muffin pan

Make sure all paper is peeled off the crayons. Break Crayons into tiny peices and put in the muffin tin. Head oven to 350 degrees. Pop tins into the oven for about 10 minutes or until completely melted. Pull tins out (be careful since wax will still be liquid) and set on counter to cool. Once cool (crayons will be set up), tip pans over and crayons should fall out. You may have to use a knife to lightly tap on the bottom of the pans till the crayons fall out. Then- Enjoy!

My favorite is the orange, purple and black. It screams Halloween!


Friday the 13th

>> Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the 13th

Friday the Thirteenth
Babysitter for the night
Went out on the town!

Scary night for sure
Codes and perpetual rain
Burgers only served.


(ask for gruesome details)


Tasty Thursday

>> Thursday, June 12, 2008


We were outside all day. I was in the garden tilling and pulling weeds, the boys were busy getting filthy. Sometime in the afternoon, the boys were begging for a snack. I needed to make us a quick fuel snack and something yummy. I opted for Muddy Buddies. Infact, as I write, I'm snacking on them. Sooo good!

I'm sure most of you have tried these before, and if not, whip them up immediately. You won't be disapointed!
Muddy Buddies
7 cups Rice Chex Cereal
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Great Value Soy Butter from Walmart)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Directions: combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a microwave bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir till creamy then pour over cereal. Stir cereal and chocolate mixture till cereal is covered. Pour cereal into a ziplock bag and add the powdered sugar...then shake and bake baby! Shake till powdered sugar coats the cereal then eat till you can't eat anymore.
You will love it and if you don't, send it to me!!!!


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, June 11, 2008

use 6/23 summer

Summer is here and if you are like me, routine has been thrown out the window with longer bike rides, extra chalk drawings, garden watering and weeding and of corse 20 billion icee pops that make for long days. I found this really neat site that can help add some creative and learning fun into those longer days. Enjoy!


Running away

>> Monday, June 9, 2008

For months now only a very select few have known my ultimate weapon on loosing some extra weight and gaining some extra energy. I have been null about the subject and almost sneaky. I apologize to those close to me for not coming forth with the knowledge but wanted this to be "my" thing. Not to mention, I'm a Type A personality which may help explain things better. So- are you prepared for whats behind the curtain???

Since late last year, I've been running and training for a half marathon. I know, I know....the girl that complains about running, but a friend got me interested and since I dabbled in high school track, I thought I would give it a try. This friend of mine is so great. My old boss and mentor. I look up to her in all ways possible. She is far more trained than I, in that she qualified for the Boston Marathon after her first race. She can run 26.2 miles in less than 3 hours. She blows me away! She is beautiful, smart and talented in ways that I admire. I love her and thanks to her, I am more healthy and running 9 minute miles (I've got a llllooonnnggg way to go to be up to her level though)!

So- there is my secret! Does it surprise you? Now my challenge is to comment on what your big shocker secret is. I want to know. Its only fair!!! I share a slice of my privacy so share one of yours.
Thanks Cassina for being my inspiration!


Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I've learned that you can tell a lot about a Mom by the way she handles these three things; empty sippy cups while driving, hearing "I need to go potty" in the middle of the book section at Target and finally a rainy day! In our Great Lake state, we have had nothing but rain for the past couple of days. The boys have gotten so use to exerting energy outside that being cooped up in the house has been torture (for them and for me). The screams have been extra loud, the whines extra long, and the sharing problem extra hard to handle. So what to do when the craft box has been through 20 times already and the coloring books all colored? PLAYDOUGH!
I make my own playdough and the boys absolutely LOVE to help. They love to get out their tote of cookie cutters and rolling pins and the other what nots I have thrown in the tote for them to play with. I don't have a picture of all the fun stuff they have in their tote, but be creative. A lot of the stuff they use are left over goodies from my baking drawer.
So playdough to the rescue for us today. I hope that where ever you are, that you have sunny skies and plenty of outdoor fun! We will get back outside as soon as possible!
Homemade Playdough- Completly eatible, trust me!!:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 package of koolaid
1 cup boiling water (can add a little more if needed)
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl, pour boiling water over and stir till ball forms. Drop onto a lightly floured surface and knead till soft and plyable. I also put a placemat infront of the boys for them to play with their dough since on my wood table, the dough does leave a film.



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