mom's signature

After spending some time traveling to see family, it's back to reality and helping my oldest with his homework. He came home last night with a packet full of missed work he needs to do this week on top of his normal homework. Most of the work is math and he should be able to complete it in a short amount of time, but it is such a struggle to get him to focus and get his homework completed in a reasonable amount of time.

I'm trying to be better at sitting down with him and helping him instead of being distracted with my phone and social media.  I suppose mom should focus on his work with him and stop multi tasking.  The other distraction is his two younger brothers.  I try to have them play on the computer or play in the other room as to keep the noise level down, but my oldest is so distracted that I end up getting frustrated at him for getting up out of is seat and taking more time than it should, in my opinion.

How does your family complete homework with siblings in varying stages in life;
in school and too young for school? 


Do Over Challenge

I love the idea of mystery boxes and the anticipation of what could possibly be inside.  The do over challenge from Jeannie was totally up my alley and I'm thankful for my dear sister-in-law and fellow jewelry designer/enabler for hooking me up with the link.  It's also a treat to get some fun mail and not all the political crap-o-la that is filling my mail box, but that's another rant.

I received a sweet three piece set of pink and white pearls with a pink and silver foil heart.  After taking the before pictures and taking all three pieces apart, I honestly just stared at the beads.  I'm not much of fan of the sweet, pink pearls and my first instinct was to recreate the beads into a bracelet for my one year old niece.  Unfortunately, little miss is going to have to wait a while for auntie to make her another bracelet.

Standing on my chair to reach my bead stash above my desk (to keep little busy hands in my household away), I started pulling out random beads.  Not sure what my color scheme was going to be, I just pulled beads out until I had at least 6 colors to choose from.  Once I saw the pink and brown ceramic beads, this was my jumping off point.  At first, I had planned a necklace, but the number of beads needed and my design wasn't cooperating.  I set it aside for a couple of days and when on with my life, wife and mom duties.

As I was sitting in bible study this past Wednesday, the design came to me - three stand bracelet.  Cha-ching!!  I drew out my design and then came home and went to work.  The third strand with the chain and aqua beads went through a few color changes before I felt the piece sang.  The only pieces I did not use were the white pearls, one of the claps and the earring wires.

I do love wearing multiple strands of bracelets, but rarely were a multiple strand piece at one time.  This was a good challenge for me and even though pink is so not my color (mom of 3 boys...) it was fun to play with and be challenged.

Feel free to do a little blog hopping with the other participants of Jeannie's 4th Do Over Challenge.

Miranda Ackerley http://mirandack.com/
Charlene Jacka http://clay-space.com/blog


Fall has arrived

I suppose it had to happen eventually. Yes, after 80 days of sunshine, the rain has returned to Western Washington.  While I am happy in some ways to pull out my sweaters, boots and my new warm, fuzzy TOMS, I will miss the sunshine.  Mornings are already hard enough for me trying to get out of bed in the dark and made even tougher with the dark, grey clouds at 8 am when it's time to scoot out the door for the day.

I did manage (finally) to put up the wind chime my mom gave me.  There is a large craft show outside of Wichita, KS each fall and last year my mom had bought this super cute coffee pot wind chime.  My dad hates it.  So my mom gave it to me last Christmas and yes, it took my 10 months to go outside and hang it on the hook outside my kitchen window.  Sheesh!

I am happy for the rain that has come to clean the air and water my sad, sad yard.  Though soccer in the rain isn't all that great either, God has been very gracious and held off the rain for last Friday's walkathon at school and the soccer game on Saturday afternoon.  Today, though, the street is covered with branches, pine needles and debris from last nights little wind storm, but the sun is shining and peaking through those pesky clouds.  Time for a little jewelry photo shoot.

Have a great day, y'all!!


Weekend of sewing

Last Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning, I was able to get away with a few ladies from the quilting group at church for some uninterrupted time with my fabric stash, sewing machine and ironing board.  It was a sweet time of fellowship with these ladies whom are all older than me and have come alongside me as I've been a young married woman to a new mom.  Some of the ladies I only see every once in a great while, so to get away for a weekend is special.

One of the gals brought along a quilt she just got back from the longarm quilter and showed off her quilt.  The bird pattern is just too sweet.  The gal's friend has a computerized long arm quilt machine that you can put in a pattern and the machine will quilt that pattern without too much guidance from an actual live person.  The ladies also gave out guidance as to which fabric choice should be used for the binding.

One of the projects I wanted to finish was my buggy barn quilt top.  A couple or so years ago, our group decided to learn a new way to piece a quilt.  This specific way of cutting and sewing a block together comes from a couple of gals outside of Spokane, Washington and one of the gals from our group had fortunately been to their studio/shop.  I started my top, but with little ones, I wasn't able to finish the last ten blocks needed for the required 30 blocks.  

I have two nieces whom are my brother's girls and of course, auntie wants to make them a baby quilt.  I did manage to complete one quilt top for one of the nieces using the same flower pattern.  This one was a lot of fun to put together but also tough because I was only using 9 fabrics.  I used the small remaining black to make cornerstones and then added sashing from the other 8 fabrics.

I did make another easy baby quilt top for the church baby dedications but I don't seem to have a photo of that quilt top.  Once it's all put together and quilted, I will have to get a photo of it.  Of course since being home, life has been running full tilt and my sewing gear is still all packed up from the weekend, but I'm so thankful I was able to get away for some time to sew and pray in a beautiful place and to see all the fall colors.
linking up with Carina
a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut


Off to quilt retreat

Today I'm off to quilting retreat for a long weekend of no kids, no diapers, no tantrums, no drop offs, no pick ups, no "I'm hungry."  After a long week of the kiddos and I as hubby had his golf vacation in some place warm, tropical, I get to have a little getaway with a few ladies from my quilting group at church and my sewing machine.

I still need to pack my clothes, but my projects and all my gear is ready to go.  I have way more projects to work on than I will be able to get finished, but rather be a busy bee than napping away my time.  Well, maybe that doesn't sound so bad....napping....


Peach Rosemary Brown Butter Tarts #BakeTogether

My husband is out of town this week and while he is having fun in the sun, I'm holding down the fort here at home.  It has been a good week with some bumps, bruises and laughter, but I've also had two events in the evening that required some baking.  Good thing for me, baking is my therapy.  I may not be able to control my boys' behavior, but I can control the amount of ingredients and turn them into something scrumptious, delicious and loved by all.

This month I also decided to jump in on #baketogether.  Abby Dodge (who is an amazing baker in my opinion) posts a recipe at the beginning of the month and encourages other bakers to push their creativity and then link up their recipes.                                            

This month is all about brown butter apple tarts in honor of her latest book Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets ~100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat!  When I found out about her new book, I placed a hold on it at our local library and was fortunate to be one of the first people to check out this book.  I so want this book......

I chose to make the Peach Rosemary Brown Butter Tarts for our bible study on Friday evening.  I did read through the recipe at least twice so I knew how much time I would need to make these.  Unfortunately, a certain 4 year old messed up my time line, but I've also learned to be flexible instead of stressing out.  Though, I'm still working on not stressing....

I had asked one of my friends earlier in the week if I could snag a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from her husbands herb garden. She graciously brought me a gallon size bag of rosemary and a few extra guests too.

After going to two different grocery stores and discovering that peach preserves seem to be a thing of the past, I had to great creative.  I went to the frozen section, picked up a bag of frozen peach slices and made my own peach filling.  I then took out a portion of the filling and added fresh chopped rosemary.

This is where the flexiblity comes in.  Once the tarts were made and ready for the oven, it was time for me to leave.  Earlier in the day I had asked grandma to watch the boys for the evening because we all needed a little time apart after being together nonstop since dad left.  Minus of course school and church activities.  I dropped the boys off for a fun evening with their grandparents and I headed off to my friends house for our biweekly bible study.

Our bible study group gets together twice a month to enjoy a meal and then do a study together.  While we were having dinner the tarts were baking in the oven.  I brought a box of Trader Joe's cookies for the kids because I didn't have enough time to make a batch of homemade cookies for them.  It was a small group of both adults and children, and the kids didn't seem to mind not getting any tarts.

I have to thank my friend Dana for taking a few pictures of the tarts.  My camera is in Hawaii and while my new iPhone takes pretty decent pictures, she offered to take pictures with her nice Canon.  These tarts are so yummy and I'm glad I added the Chinese Five Spice to them.

Brown Butter – Apple Hand Tarts
Makes 18 hand tarts
For the brown butter dough
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (7 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
For the peach rosemary filling
1 bag of frozen peach slices
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
agave syrup to taste 
For assembly
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon water
Turbanado or demerara or sanding sugar
Make the brown butter dough
1. Put the butter in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until nutty brown and the milk solids are dark brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Slide the pan from the heat and add the brown sugar, Chinese five spice and salt. Stir until the sugar is almost dissolved, then set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using your fingertip, check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm but not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a few more minutes before continuing with the recipe.
2. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Add the flour and stir until a smooth, soft dough forms.
3. Arrange two pieces of plastic wrap on the counter and scrape the dough onto the center of one. Divide the dough in half (about 14 3/4 ounces each) and put half on the second piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic as a guide, shape both into 5-inch squares.Wrap in the plastic and set aside at room temperature until firm enough to roll, about 3 hours. (You can pop the dough into the refrigerator for a hour or so, but you don’t want the dough to be too chilled. It would be impossible to roll.)
Make the filling
Puree frozen peach slices in a blender.  Add agave syrup to taste for sweetness.  I made mine a little sweeter since I was adding the rosemary.  Take out 10 tablespoons of filling and transfer to a bowl.  Add chopped rosemary to the small bowl of peach puree and mix together. 
Assemble and bake
1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners. Put the egg and water in a small bowl and, using a fork, mix until well blended.
2. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a lightly floured piece of parchment (this dough is soft, so the parchment is a must for successful rolling), roll out to a rectangle slightly larger than 9×15 inches. Using a sharp paring knife or a fluted roller and a ruler, trim the edges to get a neat 9×15-inch rectangle, then cut into 3 x 2 1/2-inch rectangles (for a total of 18 rectangles).  Arrange the pastry rectangles about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and cover with plastic. Roll out and cut the second piece of dough as you did the first one.
3. Uncover the dough on one of the cookie sheets. Spoon a scant 1 tablespoon of the peach filling onto the center of each rectangle and spread down the center, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edges. Using a small pastry brush, brush the edges of each rectangle with egg wash. Lay the remaining rectangles over the filling. Using the tines of a fork, press (or crimp) the pastry edges to seal. Lightly brush the top of each hand tart with egg wash. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, cut 2 small slits in the top of each hand tart to let steam escape. Sprinkle the tops with some of the turbanado sugar and slide the cookie sheets into the fridge while the oven heats up.
4. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
5. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the tarts are dark brown on the edges, 20 to 23 minutes. Move the sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the tarts from the sheet and set them on a wire rack and let cool until warm or cool completely. The tarts are best when served at room temperature or slightly warmed.

slightly adapted from Abby Dodge


Slowing Down

Oh to be staring out at the beautiful, majestic Pacific Ocean 
while spending the morning golfing.

It's been crazy since school started on Sept 5th. Getting back into the groove of a routine and having to be out of the house by 8:15 which is loco, has been challenging. Toss in soccer, church activities, family get together's plus small group and so some things have been put aside for a later time.

It seems one of those things set aside is slowing down and just taking in life.  I was letting the dog out early Wednesday morning and fortunately, looked up to see the beautiful sunrise peaking through the trees.  I ran for my phone as my camera is at the above location and snapped a few pictures.  Unfortunately due to all the wildfires in Eastern Washington, our sunrises have been spectacular and late enough in the morning to see them.  Oh, how I don't like it getting lighter later in the morning and earlier in the evening. Sigh....

After dropping off my preschooler, I have about 30 minutes to kill before I need to be at bible study.  I let my 2 year play on the playground and just enjoyed watching the fog roll in and making myself aware of this sweet precious time with my little guy.  Lucky for him, mom's phone was in the car, so I played with him and watched him run in his cute little rain boots.  It was in those moments that I thanked God for making me slow down and just enjoy my boys.  The busyness can wait another day, I want to imprint in my mind those little hands.

As for the picture above, my lucky husband in on a golf trip to Hawaii with some friends of ours.  That's another post in and of itself ;)

Linking up with Carina at lovely little whimsy 

a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut


DIY Ribbon Tee

Most of my wardrobe consists of tees in various colors because they are easy.  I can layer them, throw a sweater over them and toss them in the wash when my kiddos have slimmed me once again.

One of my favorite tees has a stain that I have tried various ways to get rid of and to no avail, that pesky stain is still haunting me and causing me grief.  So why not do a little DIY with some ribbon?

Materials needed:
tee shirt
tape measure
sewing machine

I decided to sew two layers of ribbon to make sure the stain was covered but also to give it a little flare. I placed the ribbon on the tee where I wanted to start and pinned it in place and then pinned the first layer of ribbon around the v-neck to the other side stopping parallel to my starting place.  I then took it over to my sewing machine and sewed the first layer on.  Back to pinning the second layer on and then sewing that row on.


 Now try that sassy little tee on and strut your stuff :)



Armparty Surprise

What is it about twitter that has broaden my horizons, friendships and probably gotten me into more trouble with my husband than a trip to the bead store? I love my group of girlfriends that I have in real life, but it is also fun to meet new people over the interwebs, too.

One of the gals I follow on twitter is a gal who goes by the name Yellow Heart Art and she makes fun prints to add some sunshine to your walls and the gal is funny, too. She decided with a friend of hers, muchloveilly, to have an arm party exchange for people to make some new friends and make and receive some bling as well.

I was partnered up with Becca from sewLOVED, I'm mean really, how cute is her name?!?!  She has 2 adorable boys which goes perfect with my crazy clan of 3 boys.  It has been fun to get to know her a little bit and the bling she sent me was so. much. fun.

Now Becca makes adorable baby bibs and prints, but I am loving the friendship bracelets she made for me.  Okay, so maybe it's a bit junior high camp, but seriously, she did a fabulous job and I might have to breakout my cross stitch threads and make myself some of these bad boys again.

I know that I had a lot of fun making her a couple of bracelets from my stash and I must say, I am really considering making myself a cuff similar to the one I made Becca.



Tomorrow we leave on our annual camping trip to Cama Beach on Camano Island here in Western Washington. Woot! Woot! This year our family is staying 5 nights and while I'm excited, it's a lot of work. Now don't get me wrong, I'm fully aware that ALL vacations are work to prepare but it seems when you have to pack your own food for the week, it adds to the to do list.

The other difference to this trip is there are a number of families coming, some friends, some friends of friends and a whole passel of children. We divide the dinner meal up so if you choose, you can join in on the group meals and only have to cook one meal for several families instead of dinner every night. This has been a great way to meal plan with friends and be completely lazy the rest of vacation. I'm making dinner for Wednesday evening and our meal is BBQ chicken sandwiches on biscuits, coleslaw, baked beans, chips and fruit. I cooked up 6.5 pounds of chicken breasts in my slow cooker, shredded it and added more sauce before bagging it up and putting it in the freezer. The biscuits will be frozen too and I'm hoping will taste okay a few days later.

I must inform you the cabins are equipped with a refrigerator and electricity so I don't have to pack a cooler full of ice to keep my food frozen until I need it. I just have to pack my cooler with food and then I unpack it a couple of hours later once we check in. We go on this trip with some close friends and will meal share breakfast and our kids mooch off each other so I always pack extra snacks. It's only fair.

As our kids get bigger and the number of families joining increases, it lends to more activities and fun. This year we are having our own Olympics games. We have a professional event planner who has graciously offered to put together games. One of the mom's found plastic medals that each child will receive for participating, but they aren't just the cheesy, 'hey you played so you get a medal'. Each child will get a medal for best performance or funniest act. I'm really looking forward to watching the kids play the various games and have some fun.

I also picked up my crabbing license today as we are able to go crabbing two days during our trip. Mmmmm, crab fresh from the sea. One of the best parts of living in Seattle is fresh crab.  The weather is supposed to be fantastically sunny and I just can't wait.  Now to finish packing, packing, packing......


Girls Happy Hour

My girlfriend Dana is a rock star party, camping, event planner.  Four years ago, she started a tradition of spending a week camping at Cama Beach State Park.  My family was one of the first lucky families to go and since then, the trip has grown by numbers of families and number of nights.  Since we have some new people coming this year, Dana decided to throw a ladies happy hour Sunday evening.  Unfortunately, my hubby was out of town with the junior high (still) so Dana's husband offered to watch my kids for me.  THANKS MIKE!!!

My contribution to the evening was a white sangria. Dana made up the menu of drinks and some of us brought some munchies. It was a great evening with the ladies to chat and ask questions about the upcoming trip. Just a little preview of evenings to come once the children pass out from exhaustion from playing all day long and the parents are outside visiting.

White Sangria
courtesy Bon Appetit 
 2 thinly sliced, pitted plums
1 orange, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup halved green grapes
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup Cointreau
1 750-ml bottle of crisp white wine

Combine fruits and Cointreau in a large pitcher. Mash fruits gently with the back of a wooden spoon to release their juices. Add bottle of wine and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours (the longer it sits the fruiter it will be). Divide among ice filled wineglasses. Serves 4-6


Hidden meaning

Ever have those days where you wonder what God is up to in your life?  I've had a few of those days lately.  This summer I'm part of the women's bible study my Sunday School/Adult Bible Fellowship puts on to minister to those who want to be part of a bible study since the church at large takes a hiatus during June through August.  The gal who is in charge so to say of the study asked me if I would be willing to lead the study for a couple of weeks.  Sure, I look at it as a chance to dig deeper into the Word and be able to share that knowledge with the ladies in the study.

Only that didn't happen. My kids got sick with fevers the first week I was suppose to teach and the second week, the power went out and the church had no idea how long it would last.  Okay......  First off, my husband was leaving for junior high camp that morning and I was going to give him a ride because we were going to the same place after all and then to find out I'm not teaching just sent me into a funk.
This photo is a picture of a painting at a girlfriends house and even though I don't know the story behind the painting, it just spoke to me the next day. I was still in a funk, my husband was gone and I was parenting 3 boys all by myself and not doing a very good job at all.  I needed God to restore me but I was having a hard time trying to get into the Word.  I'm thankful for His forgiveness and grace in my life and hopefully, someday I will look back at this time and see God's purpose.


Orcas Island and a Ferry Boat

After coming home exhausted from a weekend of camping in the sunshine, we headed the opposite direction the next weekend and caught a ferry boat up to the San Juan Islands to camp out with some friends.  I am very blessed to live in a gorgeous part of the country that is so close to water and the mountains.  If God were to ever move us from here, I would hope for another part of the country near water at least.
Our little road trip took us north and a bit west to Anacortes for the ferry boat to Orcas Island. There are only a few boats each day, so we got up, Mike loaded the car and we were off by 9 am to catch the 12:30 boat.  Now it's only about an hour and a half drive up to Anacortes, but you need to be in line early, especially on a Friday.  We made it to the ferry line and were able to get out, stretch our legs a bit, use the restroom and hang out.
The ferry ride over was so beautiful and a bit chilly as the temperatures have been a little in the lacking warmth department. I'm a bit directionally challenged so I could not have told you what direction we were headed or what islands we were going by, but I was just enjoying the boat ride. Once we made it to Orcas Island, we drove around the island to get to the state park. Orcas is shaped like a horseshoe and we came in on the southeast tip and the state park is on the southwest tip. In the middle of the island is the town of Eastsound which is also the name of the water inlet. Our friends were already at the campsite, so we drove on in, unloaded and the kids were so excited to be with their friends.
The weekend was filled with a few walks, swimming in Cascade Lake, a little kayaking for the moms and dads, some bike riding as there wasn't a great place to ride bikes with the kids and even a thunderstorm to finish out an evening.  We of course did the camp fire with s'mores all 3 nights even though the first and third night the rain decided to join us.  Not a fan of camping in the rain which you just have to be prepared for if you go camping in Western Washington.  Although July and August are usually good bets for no rain, but there is no guarantee.
Another great part of Orcas Island is Mount Constitiution. From up at the summit, you can see Vancouver, BC, Bellingham, WA and other San Juan Islands on a clear day. Our day had a few clouds, but overall, it was beautiful. There is a watch tower the state parks department has turned into a little informational exhibit about the San Juan Islands and how they were used in the past. Now, the island is home to artists, farmers and retirees I'm sure.
Our friends had to leave on Sunday morning, so we bid them goodbye and headed into Eastsound to get online and do a little bit of normal weekend business and to sight see. The town has many cute little shops, galleries, a bookstore, several restaurants, a small inn and coffee shops. As much as I would have liked to go in some of the shops, we have to get real about the fact that I travel with four males at all times and one of those males doesn't look with his eyes very well and must touch everything, so I walk by, glance in and keep walking. We did stop into the pie shop for a snack. I must say that with a child who has dairy allergies, going into a pie shop is not the best idea, but I know that if I can find a pie where the filling is dairy free, I just give him the filling and we forgo the crust. This pie shop was good, but the pie shop on Phinney in Seattle right across from the zoo is much better.
After our pie stop, the sun finally came out and we decided to head back to the camp. The boys fell asleep so we drove around to the south end of Cascade Lake to the south camp sites where we stayed the previous time. We wanted to scope out next years camping spots and get an idea of which sites we wanted to make reservations for summer 2013. Once back, it was different without our friends there and the camp site seemed a bit bigger and more spread out and it was kinda lonely.
I'm thankful for the time we were about to have with our friends and I'm thankful for the time just our family had together. It was awesome being out in God's creation even if it did rain on my parade. And as a mom of all boys and no privacy at home, it was nice to go to the bathroom by myself for 3 straight days.


Boating or Unpacking

How does one spend their evening after traveling back from Orcas Island all day?



Boating with friends of course!

Our friends whom we spent camping with had come back a day earlier than we due to work.  After we had been home for a couple of hours, they called to see if we were home and wanted to go grab a burger via the boat.  I mean really, dinner out and a ride on the boat on lovely Lake Washington?  Yes, please!

As we were headed back into the bay where the marina is, I snapped the above photo with my iPhone and used no filters.  That scene was created by God Almighty Himself.  What a Creator we serve!


Sun Lakes and a dam

This past weekend was spent together as a family camping in the heat and sunshine of Eastern Washington.  It is pretty mandatory that if you want to go camping in the summer and have a specific state park you would like to stay at, reservations must be made a few months in advance.  Unfortunately, I wasn't on the ball like I should have been, so by the time I got to getting online to reserve a spot, most of the state parks we like to visit were booked.


But (silver lining here) I did find a pretty decent campsite at Sun Lakes State Park where the temperatures can reach triple digits in the summer due to the desert like topography.  I didn't take too many pictures since it's kinda hard to be out in the sand, dirt, water with a nice DSLR since my point and shoot is still in need of repair.  We had no cell service and certainly no 3G service so our little family was unplugged for the weekend. 

After setting up our tent and giving the boys boundaries of where they could play, we spent some time hanging out as a family.  Luckily, there was a rather large section of grass behind our site that backed up to the golf course, so we let the dog off his lead and tossed the ball around to him so he could get some exercise.  Dinner was hot dogs and s'mores over the fire since my chicken hadn't thawed yet.  I also learned how many items I had forgotten, but how you can improvise with what was in the camping box.

Saturday was spent having a yummy breakfast, a walk around the park with the dog and then Mike took the older two boys plus the dog to the water to play.  I stayed back to try to get the little man to take a nap.  Futile effort, but I did get to read some of my book.  After the boys returned from the water, we had lunch, naps and then went back out to the water all together.

That evening was a chicken salad and more s'mores over the camp fire.  Camping and sleep is always such an anomaly and my boys were no different the first night than the second, but we survived and had a fun time together as a family.

After packing up our site and hitting the road, Mike and I took a little road trip to see the Grand Coulee Dam.  It is quite the sight.  There are three sections of the dam that generate power and the amount of concrete that was needed to build the dam was phenomenal, 12 million cubic yards.  Crazy, huge!  We did drive up to the visitors center and would have liked to have taken the tour, but the temperature was over 90 degrees and there was no where for Oreo to hang out, so we just turned around and headed for home.

We took a detour into Wentachee for Sonic Drive-Thru and honestly, the only thing going for them is their drinks.  Lunch was heh, but we ate it, and drove on to home.  Road trips are always an adventure and we saw a truck pulling a travel trailer on the side of the road on fire.  Luckily it wasn't engulfed in flames, but I felt so bad for those people who owned the truck.  Due to the location of the truck, it was 20 minutes down the highway before we saw a fire truck and on the other side of Stevens Pass.  I did send up a few prayers for that family.  What a way to end your weekend.  We got about 20 miles from our turn off on Highway 2 and traffic was dead stopped.  Apparently, we managed to come across at just the right time to get stuck in lovely 2 lane traffic. It took an hour to go 8 miles and there are no alternative roads until you get a few more miles down the road.  Yay for google maps on the ipad, because that was my saving grace.  I was driving and Mike was looking for alternative roads and we discovered on in the next town over that would take us directly to highway 203 and onto home.

It was a fun, crazy, hot weekend.  No one got sunburned, PRAISE THE LORD!  And we all still love each other :)


Happy Independence Day

Today was a fun family day just relaxing at home for a good part of the day. It was a bit random how the 4th landed on a Wednesday and of course will again, but odd to have a day off in the middle of the week. After naps, we walked the mile to grandpa and grandma's house because from there we walked up the hill to the city's festivities.

The city of Sammamish does a good job hosting a party. There were food trucks, a section of various inflatable bounce toys and lots of green grass to lay out a blanket and wait for the sun to go down. Fireworks don't start until 10 pm but it was a fun 20 minute show. Overall, it was a fun day with a lot of walking and the bonus was I made it home in time to remember to put out the cold pack for the Full Circle Farm driver to pick up when delivering my weekly box of produce.

I hope you had a great time celebrating our independence and may this nation remember what our founding fathers did to start forming this great nation. God Bless!
A little picture of my holiday bling.
Silver bracelet - gift
Blue Bangle - Beadin Path
Beaded Bracelet - tulipsandpine


long awaited gift

Twitter has probably gotten me into more trouble than my husband would like. I have found new online bead stores, gotten a thimble (that is another story for another day) met some really awesome people and discovered some really cool brands. One of those brands is a gal who designs camera bags that do not scream, I'm a camera bag, come steal me!!

Kelly Moore Bags are gorgeous bags that look like purses or messenger bags where no one would guess there could be a nice, expensive camera in there. The bags are padded with removable sections, so you can decide how you want the inside of the bag to be or even hold.

When my sweet husband bought me a camera, he also picked out the bag to carry. Now, that bag is great, but everyone knows it's a camera bag and it's one more bag for me to carry. I wanted a bag I could safely carry my camera along with my personal belongings since I still have to also carry around a diaper bag/backpack for the 2 and 4yo.

After pinning for a new purse, making a little money helping out a friend and finagling the budget a bit, my husband let me pick out the Kelly Moore bag I wanted for a birthday/Mother's Day/anniversary/I didn't die during surgery gift.  Even better was the fact that there happens to be one camera store in the entire Seattle area that carries the KM bags and happens to be in downtown Bellevue.  So after my awesome baking class, my husband picked me up and took me over there to pick out and see which bag I wanted.  Lucky for me, the purse I REALLY wanted was in stock in the store whereas it wasn't in stock on her website.  I also discovered the hobo bag is really cool too, but I'm good for awhile :)

So now, I have a pretty new purse that can carry all my stuff, the random toy that without fail ends up in my possession and my camera for when I want to take it along to capture my boys. Thank you Kelly Moore for making a beautiful, functional bag and thank you to my fabulous husband for spoiling me.  Love you!