Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday BashES

We are still slightly reeling from all the birthday celebrating in honor of BeachPea turning 9 last week.  BeachPea gets VERY excited about her birthday each year and starts counting down the days til her special day as soon as she turns the calendar over to August (and has birthday on the brain all month).

And this year she definitely got her fill of birthday-ing!  Because we had lots of family visiting this month, at different times, BeachPea got to have about 4 or 5 birthday celebrations.

Swim Party with her friends
 And a trip to our second-favorite-place-next-to-Disney-World
We live about an hour away from the closest Build-a-Bear (which is a good thing), so when we drove nearby the store to pick up Grandma at the airport, we couldn't resist a visit for the birthday girl (and her very excited sisters). Thank you, Grandma!
...decisions, decisions...
puppy love 
lots of birthday-ing meant lots of eating...
...cherished gifts... 
 ...and silly string wars (a birthday tradition)
CarriBear loves her new cuddly friend
A birthday serenade  
make a wish
Can't believe my baby is 9!  Happy Birthday, BeachPea!

(Now, time for mommy to head to the wii fit...)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What I've been missing...

I've been feeling kinda down lately, but didn't know why. Then last night, because the dining room table was covered with sewing stuff, I decided to move dinner to the table on the back porch. Lil Diva took to finish her dinner, and while I was sitting out there with her, long after the rest of the family had gone, I was looking around at the backyard, and realized I didn't know it anymore. Because of the heat (I really don't like heat (and yet, here I am rooted in the South. Go figure)) and because of all the school planning I've been doing inside lately, it's been weeks since I've spent anytime in the yard (or "taken a turn around the garden" as they say in the old novels). Maybe I had been down because it had been sooo long since I had spent any time enjoying God's world.

So, I decided, once Lil' Diva finally finished eating, to take that turn in the garden. I found a crop of bright purple zinnias that I hadn't even noticed were there, grapes ready to be harvested (oh yeah, we have grapes), empty bird feeders (poor birds), butterflies galore... little joys that I had forgotten to feed my soul with all summer. Here's some other things I might have missed if I had stayed inside (again) last evening...

(By the way, this is going to be way more pictures than you probably want to stick around for. I won't be offended if you sneak out early, I promise. I'm mostly posting these for my own good, 'lest I forget and get sucked inside again).

(caught one)

cosmos, my favorite flower, barely noticed all summer

the welcoming committee

(hot) horses saying hello

the hidden world

and I might have missed my little girl learning to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time! Go CarriBear!!
and I might have missed dancing with Lil' Divabut I doubt she would have let that happen. :)

I feel better already.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

T-shirt dress - on MY blog?!

So it was coming up on the year anniversary of BeachPea getting a really nice sewing machine from her grandma (thanks mom!) and nothing much had been produced from it, because I was scared of it. BeachPea had gotten a couple of lessons from my mother-in-law when she first got the sewing machine, but after those we never got it back out because I was afraid. If something mechanical has more than two steps to make it work, then it is out of my league. But, this week, I finally decided to tackle my fears, and asked mother-in-law back over to give us all lessons.

So she did (thank you mother-in-law!), and after she left, since the machine was all set up, I decided to see what would happen if I touched it. It was my first time, I was nervous.

But look what I did!

I made a purse!

And I didn't break anything on the machine!

I was so excited I stayed up half that night looking online for other projects I might be able to attempt. I found these adorable girls' t-shirt dresses that didn't look too intimidating, and there were tons of tutorials on how to make them. Most of them were over my rookie head, but I found one that sort of made sense at this blog.

So the next morning I decided to try it.

But after the first hem the bobbin ran out of thread - horrors! now what do I do?? Do I touch something mechanical and risk making BeachPea's machine fall to pieces (I have that ability). But, I couldn't just stop mid-dress, sooo, I went for it. And it took me thirty minutes, but I figured out how to rethread the bobbin. Yay me! And look what I made...

I was so proud. Ok, the seams are really crooked, and I left raw edges on the hem, and my gathers are uneven, really uneven, but I was proud anyway, and Lil' Diva wore her new dress all day, even though the waist was a little too low and the inside was ugly. It was supposed to have an empire waist, which I think looks sooo cute, but Lil' Diva said that wasn't working for her and wanted it down lower. Which was actually kinda good because I cut the material too short anyway :).

So that's what's been going on here. I'm learning to sew! And it's really fun.

Here's a few other things going on in our neck of the woods...

golf practice in the yard with friends

watching videos about Noah's Ark on YouTube, to supplement our study on Genesis in Through the Bible with Your Child (I won this book in a blog giveaway (thank you, Monica!!) and I love it!!)

and the girls started dance lessons yesterday. Lil' Diva has been watching her sisters' dance for the last 3 years and was SO excited to finally go to her own class.

Now it's back to school for a few days before grandma arrives from Florida to help celebrate BeachPea's birthday later this week. We love grandma-visits!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Instrument Rental Day!

I got to see the first fruits of labor from the homeschool music program I've been attempting to put together all summer, when my kids got to choose their instruments at our rental day this week. It was fun to watch them, at first nervous about actually getting to touch all those shiny instruments on display, then super excited when they finally chose the one they wanted (but I think I may have been even more super excited than they were :)).

BeachPea sure had fun with the trombone, but chose the trumpet in the end

CarriBear will be playing the violin in the junior orchestra

She's very excited!

MyBuddy went to a drum camp this summer and has decided to stick with percussion as his choice (oh yes, we will be making a practice room in the basement!)

Yep, Lil' Diva had to have an instrument, too! :)
Can you believe they make violins that small?

Instruments will be delivered on the first day of class in the first week in September.
We can't wait!
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