Anyone else like to blogsurf ? My spellchecker is telling me this is not a real word--HA!

I find that when I blogsurf I'm overcome with inspiration. These Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches from Martha Stewart's website inspire me! So do many other recipes, fabrics and decorating tips. But here's the thing...if I'm not careful I cross that very fine line of being inspired to being envious. Sometimes it gets to be too much and I have to get up and walk away from my computer. Does anyone else experience this? There are so many things I'd like to do--recipes I'd like to try; crafts I'd like to do with my kids; projects I'd like to sew; colors I'd like to paint my walls. That's when I know I've had enough. The last thing I need to be doing right now is painting the rooms of my house!

Why is it so easy to cross that line of "this is beautiful; I appreciate this" to "this is beautiful; I wish I had an ounce of her creativity; I wish my house looked like this." And before I know it, discontent rears its hideous head! The truth is, I love the home that God has provide for our family. I love being here! When I'm home I find myself looking around and letting out little sighs here and there because I'm overwhelmed by the blessings God pours out upon our family.

The truth is~

"My God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Phil. 4:19

and He does!


Shadowbox Pictures

I love to walk down my hall and see these pictures of my boys. They were taken for our Christmas card 4 years ago. I wanted shots of the boys by themselves, and then one of the two of them together--you know, big brother sweetly holding little brother.

The first two pictures went off without a hitch, but that last one...impossible! They wouldn't sit still, and then one would walk away while the other crawled in the opposite direction. Finally, I just starting snapping pictures, but I was surprisingly pleased with the result! Thus began my "just take the picture; this is who we are" mentality for our annual family Christmas card photo. Besides the fact that I can't get all 4 of my kids to sit still at the same time, I've become accustomed to these real-life shots, as opposed to portrait studio poses.

I decided to display the photos in a shadowbox, using Velcro to attach them to the background. I used the white photo edges for decorative purpose. I think they really make the pictures stand out.


Too Much Fun!

Try out yearbook yourself for good laugh!






Fall Crafts for Kids

One of the moms who attends the preschool co-op at my house came prepared to share these crafts with us. The kids painted leaves on sheets of paper. Once the paint dried, we cut out the leaves and made mobiles, attaching them to sticks with twine.

Here's the finished product. Aren't they great? I love the idea of using a stick to attach the leaves.

Then the kids made these great fall window decorations by placing fall-colored bits of paper and dried leaves between two pieces of contact paper.


Saying Goodbye to Summer

Although I'm excited to welcome the fall, part of me would like to hold onto these last few days of summer. I love sending my barefoot children outside after dinner with ice cream cones in hand. There's something comforting in hearing my children laugh and run about while I weed my garden in the cool of the evening.

We picked these yummy peaches this morning. I'd like to make a pie this afternoon, but the day is quickly slipping away from me.

I picked these two items up in a little shop near the orchard for only a few dollars.

Enjoy your last few days of summer!


All Done!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of this old cabinet that I found in my basement.

My husband worked very hard to restore it for me. I was thrilled when he found this red Formica table with metal trim on Craigslist. He just attached it to the cabinet as the counter top, and I think it turned out great!

Now there's a great spot for my favorite "boys" to hang out while I work in the kitchen.

Oh, and if you read my blog regularly, you might remember this post I wrote on attending a home school co-op last month. I won't go into all the details, but it just so happens that I was able to start a co-op of my very own, right here in my home! We met this morning for the first time and had 18 children and 6 moms join us (and possibly 4 more next week)!


Ready for Fall

Am I jumping the gun or is it too soon to put out fall decorations? I'm itching to be done with summer. I've already been to Starbucks for my Pumpkin Spice Latte. O.k., so I've actually been twice. I'm ready for fall!

When do you put out your decorations for the fall?


Maple Cookies

Looking for a fun and delicious way to welcome fall? Try these Maple Cookies. I found this recipe last year and vowed that I would make them every year to welcome my favorite season. They'll make your house smell of warm maple syrup and brown sugar.

Maple Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
3 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add maple syrup. Add the egg yolk. Sift the flour into the batter in small batches.

Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.

When ready to make cookies, cut off small portions of dough to work with, roll the chilled dough to about 1/4" thin, and use a maple leaf cookie cutter to cut out your cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees; 8-10 minutes for small cookies, and 10-12 minutes for larger cookies.


My New Tray

Look what I got in the mail yesterday! A friend of mine sent me this adorable tray to display in my kitchen. She found it at a yard sale! Isn't it great to have friends who know you so well? She must have known that I would have snatched it up if I were there with her.


A Mama's Musings

I guess I've gotten used to raising boys. Everything seems so straight forward with them...

"Did you just hit your brother?"


"That was unkind. What do you say?"


They hug. They run outside to play. I finish sweeping the kitchen.

O.k. I can do this. That wasn't so bad.

Then I had girls (two at once, in fact!) I'm so very thankful for them. Please don't think that I'm complaining, but I'm definitely treading new waters here. You would think that I would "get them," because I am, after all, of the same gender. Sometimes we have moments like this...

and this...

But, oh, how I love it when we have moments like this: