Friday, July 15, 2011

This Moment and Comin' Close To The Golden Coast!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

So here is my moment from the week. I love it.

But at this very moment I am trying to hurry and post so I can get back to business packing and cleaning. I am about done. I really like to come home to an unloaded dishwasher and made beds. You like that too? It really is worth the last minute scrambling to come home and throw your dirty laundry and junk down on the floor of a tidy house.

I may post some wordless snapshots during our trip if I can. You know I will be taking many photos of our beach days and giggly-jumping-up-and-down reunions and good times. If I don't get to a computer, I will have tons to share when we return.

We will also be preparing for our chicks almost immediately after we land! Truly, you don't want to miss that. :)

For now, carry on with your fun summery days.
We sure will be- California style!
See you soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Organizing To Get Organized.

I just counted 10 little piles of stuff all around the house that are destined for California and should already be in a bag or suitcase. (We leave soon!)

I have been steadily working on these piles for days. I felt I got a nice and easy head start on things. Somehow, not much has been checked off the old to-do list. I think that is the way out here when we get sun, warm and such blinding blue skies!

Not much gets done besides runnin' around in it all.

I managed to make french bread pizzas that seemed to be a hit. (Gettin' harder to fill up these growing boys of mine. Challenging. That's for another time though I guess.) Anyway, I love when random-pantry-busting things like that work out. We ate them outside of course.

Colyer wanted to build a bench. So he built himself a fully functional bench. He wrote his and his brother's names on it with a Sharpie because he said he didn't just make it for only him. (Awe! My heart skipped a beat on that one.)

Then lil' sis felt left out. Look at her! So seriously sad.

So she got a mini-bench. With three legs to make it more stable because Minna is still kinda little. (My heart!) She is using it as a bedside table.

Just wait 'til he gets to paint his awesome builds.

Sully worked on a project of his own that deserves a whole separate post at a later date. His abilities as a carpenter are kind of mind-blowing. I mean it. And, I have already claimed this mystery piece of wonderful. It's all mine. Sully says it's for all of us. And the chickens. I know... I can hardly wait either!

I am going to do as my hammer wielding, thoughtful, determined boys do, and say I want to do something, and then just go do it.

I really want to pack.
I am going to do it.

Am I doing it yet?

See you tomorrow for a send off post.
My last one for a while!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Minna-Mini Moment.

So glad I have sets of little fingers,
picking mini flowers,
and bringing me the teensiest bouquets.

Thought I'd share.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Of Project and Roundy Notes.

Happy Monday!

Off loading some notes and must-mentions here...

Working on two special embroidery projects.
One for a wedding and one for a baby.

Can't show too much
because that is no way to surprise anybody.

I am finding with my roundy project,
that it has been hard to pick up other embroidery stuff.
Wanting to make gifts has made me do so.

These guys were out late helping Jeff with the coop.
(Ear protection around power tools is a must, ya know?)

Jeff worked WAY late into the night.
With only the mosquitos for company.

At least he got to work by (citronella) candle light.


So, the rest of the week I will preparing for the kids and I to take our California trip!

I don't know what I am going to do with A-Round-A-Day! I won't have access all the time to a computer for posting regularly. This bugs me. I have posted every single day for 88 days straight! That's a lot. I think what I want to do is complete my stitching each day, because I can do that anywhere, and compile a photo mosaic of the (28!) roundies I do over vacation. Then, I will post that mosaic when I return.

That's it! That's the plan.

Phew! All worked out. Feeling much better with all those notes made. Now there are pretty dresses to press, pants to hem, suitcases to drag down and to-do lists to be made then madly checked off.

Love all this anticipation!

Have a great start to your week!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Moment, And a Flower Photo For Good Measure.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicken Dreams Do Come True.

Years and years ago I read an article somewhere about a family raising backyard chickens. It was before I knew folks who had them and I was intrigued.

It wasn't the eggs, or the idea of funny-cute chickens running around that made me want them so badly that day. No, no. It was how fun I thought it would be to have chickens and make them their own mailbox so the neighborhood kids could send them letters. That is what the family in the article did.

They had a chicken mailbox on their chicken coop.
And their chickens got love letters.

Yes please!

I am a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Now to present times-I still want chickens but for normal reasons. (Not just crazy reasons.) I want eggs and I want funny-cute chickens running around and I want to share the experience of raising baby chicks with the kids. Plus, I hope to find a vegetable gardener willing to trade veggies for eggs next spring.

Above are the very official and to scale plans for the coop.

I love how Jeff didn't blink an eye when I interrupted him mowing the lawn the other day saying I had committed to 20 chicks to be hatched at the end of August. He finished the lawn, drew up his coop idea and started collecting wood and measuring things.

Here is where the coop and covered run will go. There, to the right of the workshop. Good beginning structure and looks as though chickens may have been there years before.

(Funny how Minna is very willing to be in pictures when I kind of just want documentary photos or something. Never that easy when I want portraits of her. hmm?)

Anyway, Minna says, "There is where the chicken's are gonna live!"

They get a nice long and tall coop, with 5-6 nesting boxes and kid-friendly hatches for egg collecting.

And here is where the outer run will go. It will be plenty big, giving the 20 (or so) chickens lots of room to roam. It will encompass what is now called the "chicken tree". Only by me, as usual. At least when I say, "over by the chicken tree" everyone knows what I am talking about even if they don't call it that.

Here is the best soon-to-be chicken dad ever, building away.

And, yes, of course I still have to have a chicken mailbox. I told Jeff where I want it to go and he just asked, "So, like PO box slots for each one? Or just a plain mailbox?"

Again! Not even a raised eyebrow!
Man! Me and my soon-to-be chickens are lucky!

A lot has to happen before those chicks are born. Including a trip to California (for the kids and me) and lots of building and supply gathering (for Jeff).

Stay tuned for more of my chicken dream come true!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Catch! (or, The Icky-Morbid-Dead-Fish Post)

(If mild blood or guts makes you uneasy, you may want to skip this post. I am leading with that because I have many animal lovers in the family and I don't want to surprise anybody with a dead fish photo. It really won't be that bad though...)

Sully and Jeff caught their first Alaskan fish!

They are Red or Sockeye Salmon and are notorious for being tough to catch. As the story goes, these two wouldn't have been caught if a sea otter hadn't scared them right into the path of my boys' poles.

They are huge! And beautiful! Never thought of salmon as being beautiful, but they are.

It was amazing seeing them up close. The shimmer of the tiny scales and the gradation of color was amazing. The fins that can power up a stream and make a boy fight for 15 minutes with all his might, were so thin and delicate. Made all of us wonder, "How did they do that?"

Fishing and hunting here are so common and a way of life for many families on the island. For us, the idea of actually catching our own food is new. Especially for the younger ones. Fishing was more of a sport where we used to live and I have to say, that moving here has made me think even more about where our food comes from.

Catching our first fish led to questions and kid-brain statements like, "Mom? If we just go fishing, we don't need to buy fish that someone else caught anymore right?" And, "Now we can make sure our fish is cleaned good and cooked good."

And from my animal-loving, super-sensitive, fledgling-fisherman, "If I catch the fish myself, I can always know (emphatic arm movements) it was caught right and wasn't killed on purpose for no good reason."

All I learned from "Food Inc" and stuff, was in my 9 year old's heart all along.

Naturally, there was a lot of looking and wondering. Also, lots of learning in regards to prepping and filleting. Not everybody liked what they saw.

Or smelled.
But we understood and deeply appreciated.

We baked the fillets with honey, dijon mustard, pecans and seasoned bread crumbs. Then shared them with friends. Tasted very good and fresh and real.

Dear Fish,
Thank you.

all of us out here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Delayed Share.

I keep forgetting to show you the little favors Minna and I made for the guests at her birthday party! It was fun to try to make as much as possible on our own this year.

*Boring grown-up note: Jeff and I have put ourselves on a budget for the first time since we got married. Nothing extreme. We just want to think more about where our money is going and where we can save in small ways. Sometimes those small ways can be big, you know?

Anyway, back to party fun. So along with the pinky-cupcakes, we gave our guests tiny sketchbooks with stitched covers.

(Bound kinda as shown in this video-here.)

And we slipped them into little sacks with ties. That was it! Minna helped pick fabric and sat in my lap and stitched with me. I know her brothers liked theirs and one of the little guests said something like, "You guys made these? You are good makers!"

Sweet, right?

It was fun and I am going to make more of those little books ASAP. Good way to use up thin cardboard and stuff. If they aren't gifts, I like to use the backs of the boys' old homework for the inside pages.

We use that old homework for everything-drawing, painting, lists... I like turning a note I scribbled over and seeing Sully's handwriting from 1st grade or something. Makes my day.

Small really can be big sometimes.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Our 4th, In Black and White and Cardboard.

No BBQ or camping or beach trips for us this year.
But, we did some playing and swinging.
And, obviously, some picture taking.



Upside down.

And a family portrait of cardboard since Jeff had to work.

I was making dinner and the kids were antsy, so I cut up a cereal box on it's way to the recycle bin and told them to do self-portraits. And true portraits they are! I love how the most reluctant portraitist, almost crying because he didn't want to draw, ended up being the most creative when he did decide to join the fun. (That would be Ninja-Colyer.)

Sully has his pocket knife on his belt and his 4-wheeler in the background.

And Minna. Little Minna has a skirt and shoes on, and yellow crayon hair. (Gah! Adorable!)

I did Jeff and myself. How handsome Jeff is in his bibs with his fly rod and blue eyes. His picture is tall and lean, as he is in real life and his stand had to be really long to keep the cardboard up. I personally think that is hilarious.

You can't see it, but I have a chicken and some eggs at my feet and my new hair cut looks great doesn't it?

So, a funny and relaxed 4th for us out here. We may still get some firework action, courtesy of the neighbors. I think popcorn is definitely in order.

Happy 4th Of July to you!