Friday, April 30, 2010

Focus Pocus Friday: LOTS of Love Here for This Girl!


Spending a little time every week looking back through old photos has become a real treat for me. I hope that you can enjoy this magical trip back in time, too!

Branch - April 13, 2005

Isn't she just the cutest?!?! I'm sure glad she decided to stay with me a little longer! She is still lobbying for her own room... which means a new house. Hmmm - that might be a bit of a wait!

Well, Butter My Buns and Call Me a Biscuit!!

I made it on PW's Blog today!!

Click HERE and go and see what Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman had to say about her visit to Portland!!

Make sure to scroll through and look at all of those pictures!! ;)

Wooooooooo Hooooooooo!! Can you FEEL my smile radiating across the web-wires?!?!?!

OH!! And hello to all y'all comin' over from PW's site today!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Just before lunch today, I nursed Bump and laid him down for his nap and went out into the kitchen to begin preparing something to eat. Then, I looked up the stairs and saw a SIGHT.

My Branch had a backpack stuffed full on one shoulder with a travel pillow wedged between her body and the bag, another bag with a teddy bear head and the tails of a bathrobe sticking out, tears rolling down her face and a piece of paper in her hand.

I said, "What are you doing?"

She replied with more tears and walked down the stairs and handed me the paper...


I asked her where she was going and she told me that she wasn't sure, but she couldn't stay here any longer. I pulled her onto my lap and asked her why she couldn't stay. She said, "There isn't any love here for me."

WHAT?!?!! My girl, the one who was poured into a mold that I thought I had cracked? My GIRL. MY girl. Not enough love for her?

I asked her what her plan was. She wasn't sure. I asked her where she would go. She said to some other house that had some extra love. I asked her how she would buy food. She said her piggy bank was packed in her backpack. I asked what else she had packed for her journey. She had a pair of jammies, a piggy bank, a lip gloss and a smell good spray, her teddy bear and a pillow... OH and a bath robe. She might have added a book or two as well. Blossom asked if she packed an extra pair of panties... Just in case, you know. No, she had not packed any extra panties and she had not packed any other clothes to wear. She planned to re-wear the clothes that she had on. So, she was ready to leave. Then I asked why she felt that there wasn't enough love and she told me that Blossom and Bud were too mean to her, there weren't enough bedrooms so that she could be alone in one and she NEEDED her own space because Blossom wouldn't leave her alone in quiet. Bud and Blossom by this time were quite concerned that Branch was leaving and were trying to convince her that they would miss her and that it is really just too scary to leave mom and have a go on your own.

I asked if she wanted to stay for lunch before she left. She did. She wanted tuna salad with crackers and cheese. And a movie. Max and Ruby to be exact. And now she is curled up in a club chair reading Berenstain Bears and the Dress Code and we will be leaving to go to her Little Flowers Girls' Club meeting in about 10 minutes. I hope that she has decided to stay with mom!

You've Got To Prey... Just To Make It Today

A week ago today, we went on a field trip with a local homeschool group to a wildlife refuge. We were lucky that Pops was working in the same general area and came to visit the animals with us! It was very interesting and there were many animals to see and learn about. I was VERY frustrated with myself when we got to the beginning of the tour - which was walking all the way to the back of the area to the bears - and I tried to take some pictures of grizzly bears that were 8 ft and 10 ft tall standing. Why was THAT frustrating? Because I had removed the memory card from my camera the night before to load my pictures to my computer. Grrrrr - no one to be frustrated with other than myself.


We went on most of the tour before Bump was ready to nurse - which I decided would be best undertaken in the car. After he was done, I looked in the camera bag that I had left in the car and saw that I had a spare memory card tucked inside! Wooo Hooo! So, we headed back to the group and found them looking at the birds of prey...


We then entered an aviary "hut" and the tour guide opened some garage door type windows and we were treated to some lovely Bald Eagles (or as Blossom used to call them... "Balk Eagles"!!) in the enclosure - without chain fencing or the like inhibiting the view or pictures!


Such beautiful birds... I LOVE their white feathers!


But the sibling rivalry with eagles is astounding... and makes me think that my kids' fighting is NOTHING compared to eaglets! This is a juvenile eagle - you can tell by the flecks of color in its head feathers.


This "guy" was pushed out of the nest by sibling eaglets and broke both of its wings on its fall.


This bird cannot fly as its wings are, hmmm... a bit mangled and unable to get into the right position for flying. But it hops around to get where it wants to go and seems quite resourceful!


If you have an opportunity to visit a wildlife refuge - I recommend it wholeheartedly!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Craft Basket Wednesday: Sweet Felts


My little Blossom has a sweet tooth, so I needed to sew some sweets for her kitchen. I will take pictures of the kitchen (with its completed frame) when I remember to get it outside when it isn't pouring buckets of rain!!
Cinnamon Roll, Oreo Cookies and Strawberry Ice Cream on a Sugar Cone!

Go visit Amy and see what she or anyone else is up to and crafting these days!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Daybook, Entry #30

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, April 27, 2010...

Outside my window... THe sun just came out - it has been raining, pouring and drizzling all day! It is 57 degrees.

I am thinking... that "baby weight" doesn't melt off when you are nursing, if you indulge your cravings. I don't know what kind of "diet" I can go on while nursing a baby - my pediatrician informed me that I can't cut fats out of my diet for milk production. I should cut out sugars - but that is so hard if I don't cut out all carb stuff. Any suggestions for losing the weight while nursing?!?!!!

I am thankful for... a healthy chubby baby who seems to have no problem in the weight gain department, either! (But, why is it CUTE on him and not me!?!?!!!)

From the learning rooms... Back on track! We are working our way to the end of the year... depending on how we go at it, we basically have 36 days left?? I am not certain on that - but it is a close estimate!

From the kitchen... my "big meal" plans

Tues: Chicken Pot Pie
Wed: Roast
Thurs: Take - Out
Fri: Pork Chops
Sat: Breakfast
Sun: Steaks & Twice Baked Potatoes!
Mon: Spaghetti

I am wearing... I think I should delete this question from here! I am always wearing a pair of gray yoga type pants. I have several different pairs: one is plain, one has a turquoise stripe on the leg, the other has "huskers" running down the leg and "University of Nebraska" on the hip. I have a few other things that I do wear... but it seems that it is my Tuesday Uniform to wear a pair of cozy pants!

I am creating... secrets.

I am going... to book club, tonight, at a local library.

I am reading... nothing! I finished "The Help" for book club and haven't read a thing this past week. Maybe the next book option for book club will inspire me and I will pick it up.

I am hoping... that Bump cooperates and is pleasant this evening and that his teething won't be bothering him much tonight while we are talking about the book tonight - yes, he is coming along!

I am hearing... Bump cooing, as he is just waking, the girls are arguing about the make-believe they are playing, and for once, Bark is NOT snoring!! She is chilled and kind of shivering over on the other couch, though. Poor old dog!

Around the house... Quiet and calm.

One of my favorite things... when my treekids rub lotion on my feet!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Book club tonight, the girls' LAST Little Flowers meeting on Thursday, a Little Flowers Tea Party on Sunday

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Blossom's little kitty goes by more than one name...
Officially "Licorice" but called "Meow Meow," "Mrow Mrow," "Kitty," "11:45" (it isn't black enough to be midnight... it has a few little white spots, but Bud refutes this by saying it IS dark enough to be midnight - it just has a couple stars out!), and by Pops - "That 'Dern' Cat." Turns out this kitty earns her keep these days... she is an awesome mouser!!!

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Goofin' Off

I am beginning to understand what my Aunt meant... when she said in a comment last year that my cousin, Jeremy, (now an adult) still is a clown in pictures! Just follow the first four photos below to see what I mean!





Pops and his brother, Uncle Ikey, seemed to enjoy their time hanging out over the weekend.


The kids were TIRED. It was time for Pops and Bud to take our guests back to the airport. (The girls stayed home with Bump and I and we all took a nap!) But, I wanted to try for a picture of the group of kids before they left - hoping for decent results even with the tiredness!

I noticed that there is room for the three missing cousins in this picture!! Two obvious holes and move this baby over and make room for the other "baby"!) I wish that they could have all been together! I'll just have to hope for a great "all together" picture sometime this summer!!


It was sure fun to have Uncle Ikey and Cousins L1 and L2 here for a visit (albeit quick!). We can't wait until they come back again and bring Mom and Cousins M and B!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome at The Table!


It is Our Prayer
On this most Blessed Day,
That Your Heart a Tabernacle Be,
Not for a day or two or three
But for Eternity!
May Jesus Keep You Always
in His Close Embrace!


May the blessing of the Lord's Supper
help you to live as a child of God.


A Church Family


Father S., Bud & Godfather, Uncle Ikey


Bud chose a cake to celebrate on his 1st Holy Communion day. First, he said he would like a chocolate cake. Then, he said, "Wait. Ummm, well, what are my other options?" I ran through the general options of Chocolate, Yellow, White, Lemon, Strawberry, Swirl, etc... He said, finally - after a bit of thought - "Lemon. I would like four layers. White frosting and a jam kind of filling." WOW! Well, that is a far bit from chocolate cake!! So, there is a (two) layer lemon cake with cream cheese frosting and a spread of raspberry jam between the frosting and cake in the middle. It is topped with a raspberry jam cross and after the picture he said, "Mom, you forgot the raspberry jam 'dots' around the edge." So, I put some jam in a plastic baggie, trimmed the corner and piped some dots around the edge. I have to say that the cake was QUITE delicious! It was cool and refreshing - much like a raspberry lemonade!!

Blossom - Branch - Bud - Cousin L2

It had gotten quite late... it was after 10 by the time the cake was brought out! (Mass at 5, a small reception after, home around 7:30, eating supper at or after 8, playing hard outside in the great weather... the time just slipped away!) So, you can see a bit of tired in the eyes of these kids! And where is the other cousin who came to visit!?!?


He did not quite make it to cake time! He sat down on the couch and fell asleep!!! No cake for YOU!

Staying up late... making cinnamon rolls for the morning! Have to wait for the dough to rise, then I'll roll them out and have them ready to pop in the oven in the morning. If you're hoping to have one - you'll have to be fast with this house full of people!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Focus Pocus Friday: Cousins


Spending a little time every week looking back through old photos has become a real treat for me. I hope that you can enjoy this magical trip back in time, too!

June 2006

Four years ago this June! My babies are growing too fast! Grandpa had a new bull calf (they named him "Angus") that had to be fed from a bottle in the barn, so while we were visiting (and Pops and his brothers were off in Alaska fishing for salmon) we went to visit the calf. Bud was thrilled and thought it was cool - just like his two cousins... "L1 & L2." Branch was not too sure about the critter and was very nervous and scared... until they got out the HUGE bottle and it was time to feed it like a baby. Then she wanted to help! Blossom was just a tiny tyke - just over a year old and wanted to be held and all that jazz - no up close encounters with bulls - baby or not!

But, this last photo... Grandma claims it is one of her favorites... She likes to have a picture anytime the kids are all together - in somewhat coordinating clothes. (Sorry that there won't be a coordinating clothes picture for the treekids with 2 of the cousins this weekend, Grandma! I will do my best to pin them all down and get some kind of a picture though!) This particular instance, it was the end of the day, the kids were hungry, it was late for supper and the mood was in general... chaotic! Well, we sat them on the sidewalk and the big sibs held the "babes." Let's just say it didn't go well for the 1 year olds! But, I LOVE how "L2" is so aloof as to what is going on right next to him! They were told they could eat RIGHT after we got a good picture - he must've been hungry!!


It will sure be fun to see the boys this weekend!

Anyone else interested in taking a trip down memory lane each week with me??

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Pioneer Woman in the Pacific NorthWest!!!

So, I was encouraged by Pops to go the opposite way of my general "stay-at-home behavior" and meet The Pioneer Woman in the Portland area. Not wanting to drive all that way alone with a baby (3.5 hours - or so) I happily accepted the chauffeur services of Pops (And the companionship of my treekids)! So, let's not waste any more time... here's how it all went down.

We arrived at the bookstore at around 5 PM for the 6 PM event. I went and was trying to find the "ticket man" so that I could get all queued up. Then I went and purchased my second copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks. You see, after we were 25 minutes from home, I realized that I had left my copy of the cookbook (already signed - thanks to my mom purchasing and sending a copy to "The Ranch" and PW signing and sending it on to me - for my birthday) at home on the counter. Grrr. So, I purchased another copy and got busy ... waiting.

When we first walked in the door and I took off for the information booth, Pops had the treekids and they were browsing the books and Pops got a, "HEY! Pops! I know you!" kind of comment. He looked at the woman and had NO idea who she was. Turns out... it was Angela!! She had recognized Pops and Bump from here on the blog, but had never met either of the two of them in person! But, she said "hi" and came searching for me a bit later!


I wish I would have known to she was going to be there... I would have had her snag me a ticket or a chair! She was ticket number 40 and I was... 245. I sure would have loved to get through the line as quickly as she did! But, she was there waiting before the event since 2:30 or 3:00 - so, wait one way or another, early or late, we both did!


My big girl, Branch, was excited to be with me waiting on someone... she just couldn't wrap her head around it, but wanted to join the excitement and not miss a thing.


PW was fallowing a GPS unit to the store and it took her down a wrong way and made her late by several minutes. I sat there being VERY understanding since our GPS unit did the same thing to us! Powell's Bookstore has moved in the past ... who knows how long! Anyway, she arrived and the "fun" began!!


She was a hoot and a half and seems to be as normal as you or me. I think that there are just some really great people out there in "internet land." I know we need to be careful as people can hide behind their computer screen and all, but there are just some really nice folks out there!


She began signing books and I met some of those nice out there in the internet people sitting or standing around! Most of the people I met either don't blog at all for themselves and only read others', or they don't keep up on their blog (or so they said... maybe they were just hiding behind that screen... hmmmmm). Anyway, it wasn't very long before Angela made her way to the front of the line!


And she and PW shared some juicy secrets, of what nature - I am unsure! Angela, you COULD tell us about your secrets here in my comments section!! Don't keep us in suspense...


Do you know how many people I saw make this pose?? Smiling from ear to ear at a camera while PW signed their book? Lots and lots and lots! And I saw some people have 6 or 8 books signed! What on earth?!?! Well, I suppose a gift, but the gift recipient didn't get to go MEET her and she was HERE!!!


This is Branch at 9:12 PM - still waiting and it is more than an hour past her bedtime! She was getting TIRED!

And then the moment arrived... and she was watching like a hawk that "our book" got signed just right by this funny red-haired lady from out of the computer. (Shhhh... I will keep this second book for my girl to take with her when she flies the coop in 11 - 14 years with a few pictures inside to remember this fun we had together!! I'm thinking that's the best plan now that I have two copies!!)


Since Pops calls me a "stalker," I had her inscribe this book with
Thanks for stalking, elm!
Love to the Treehouse -
Bud, Branch, Blossom, Bump and Pops!"
I thought it was good to put them all in there since they waited FOREVER with me!

Ree told me that she loved their blognames and asked if Bump was "Bump" and then really got a good look at him under his hat and grabbed her camera to get herself a nice shot of him!


And then she turned to Branch and said, "Oooh, let me get you, too! You are just so cute - you kids!"


And then we posed for a group picture... and then, it was all over.


We went to go find Bud, Blossom and Pops and do you know where we found them??


Yep in the stacks of books! It is a good thing that they hold these kinds of events at bookstores!!


And, do you know what Bud told me? "This was awesome!" That is what my 8 year old boy said to me about going with the family to an author signing event. He couldn't think of a better place to go and have to wait for a long long long time! He read and read and read and read and read... until we headed for home just after 10 PM!!


And Pops was soooo awesome herding kids and being understanding AND encouraging when I was ready to toss in the waiting towel, throw the kids back in the van and drive home as fast as our wheels would take us!! I love my family... and I love them best at home in our small town away from all that traffic, noise and crowded spaces!!

Thanks for visiting Oregon, Pioneer Woman! It was a real treat. Next time, don't miss touring SouthWest Oregon... some of the most beautiful countryside in all of the U.S of A.!!! (This coming from a native midwestern flatlander!!)

PS - Sorry about these weirdly colored photos! I had 4 or 5 different people snapping pictures and everyone uses a camera differently, the lighting was WEIRD in this store and I don't have the time/patience to alter them all in Photoshop! So... I think I will skip putting any of these selections in the county fair!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Craft Basket Wednesday: Table Runner


While my mom was here, we went to Joann Fabrics, one day. They were having a sale - a BIG sale and I went and looked through the clearance fabric choices. All of the clearance fabrics were 50% off!! So, I was hoping to find some great deal, but didn't know what I needed or wanted really - just am drawn to all those fabrics!!

While I was looking, I found a fabric that was maroon with a creamish/yellowish floral pattern. I loved it. ABSOLUTELY loved it. I told my mom that I was buying a bit of it, but hadn't a clue, yet, what I would do with it but I had to have some. She suggested a table runner and I thought that sounded great since I didn't have one that I cared for.

I got home with the fabric and as I was looking it over and contemplating just how I would create a table runner... I read the verbiage on the selvage edge... "HS - ERICA" from the Home Seasons collection! Do you think that there was a REASON that I was loving that fabric... that it was just calling my name and I couldn't leave without a piece of it!?!!!

Anyway, onto the project...


It is nice and long and drapes over the edges of the table and hangs very well, now. At first I thought I might be disappointed as it didn't want to lay down!


The striped fabric was in my fabric closet stash as a left over from drapes/curtains in my last home. I really liked that fabric and was pleased to see I could use it again and it coordinated so well - even without having it with when I purchased the "ERICA" fabric!!


Of course, I still have my spring bunny on my table and some great big artichokes that are real... and you can tell because they are starting to wilt a bit and need to be eaten... SOON! Maybe I'll make a plan to eat them up tonight!!

Go visit Amy and see what she or anyone else is up to and crafting these days!