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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Spring’

on saving daylight and spring

Thoughtfully penned on March 11th, 2013 and generally concerning Life with littles, Spring

They were still jabbering at 9:00 last night, happy sibling voices conversing instead of sleeping. And now they are still sleeping. Oh what a love/hate relationship I have with you daylight saving time.

So I have a few extra minutes this morning. Minutes to write. To fill this space that I’ve left empty for so many months now.

This week is spring break for our local schools. Since most of our normal activities for the week are cancelled for the break, we will join in the fun. Trips to the fire museum, the children’s museum, the zoo await us.

The weather isn’t as warm as I would prefer this week, in the mid to upper fifties instead of the seventies, but I don’t want to rush the long, hot days of summer, so we will put on jackets and enjoy the things our city has to offer.

The weekend was delightful, temperatures in the low 70s. We had a beautiful spring day on Saturday and enjoyed it playing in the yard with Nonnie and Pops, having lunch out, and visiting the park. Sunday was dreary and rainy, a great day to nap and catch up on that hour of sleep we lost overnight Saturday.

The daffodils have just started to bloom here. A late start this year, but a gorgeous herald of spring. Daffodils and tulips make me smile.

Last Saturday I ran in snow, this Saturday I ran in shorts. Oh spring, you are coming, and I welcome you with open arms.

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Catching up

Thoughtfully penned on April 5th, 2010 and generally concerning E, J, Life with littles, S, Spring

The last couple of weeks have been kind of unusual around here, and in the midst of it all, blogging got pushed to the back burner.

Two weeks ago we had a TERRIBLE week with baby girl. She slept worse than she ever has in her short little life. I don’t know if it was a developmental spurt, tummy issues, or what, but for about eight days Matt and I got very little sleep. She would go to sleep with no problem, and then when she got up for her first nighttime feeding (around 1) it was like her little world exploded. She would only sleep if one of us was holding her, and we had to be sitting or standing. Any time we tried to lay back (like trying to sleep with her on our chest while we laid on the couch) she would wake up and cry. Needless to say, it was a rough week, and I spent most of my quiet time during the day trying to get some rest (when all three of the nappers cooperated).

Last week I wasn’t online much at all because we spent as much time as possible outside enjoying the GORGEOUS Spring weather. Tuesday morning we spent about 3 hours at the zoo, came home to eat lunch and nap, then played out in the yard for about 2 hours in the afternoon/evening. Wednesday we went to Bible study, and on our way home Lindsey called to say they were at the park. We spent about 45 minutes at the park, came home for lunch and nap, and then spent an hour and a half or so playing outside.

Thursday we decided to make a trip to the botanical gardens and check out a new feature they’ve added called My Big Backyard. It is a big garden space divided into various sections devoted to different outdoor and nature activities designed for kids. There are two big tractor tire sandboxes with shovels, watering cans, and pails in one section. Another area has a rope climbing area shaped like a giant spider web. There is a spot with hammock swings and a conifer “forest” to play in, an area with worm “tunnels” to crawl through, percussion instruments to play, houses to play in, a tree house and slide, and many other fun things to do. The kids loved playing in the big backyard, and enjoying a picnic lunch at the kid sized picnic tables. It was a great morning and something we’ll definitely have to do again soon.

Matt was off on Friday, so we spent the day cleaning house, running errands, and grocery shopping.

Saturday was the big egg hunt and festival at our church. The kids did egg hunts, Boo bounced in the bounce house, Little got her face painted, and she won a cupcake at the cake walk. We ended the festivities with hamburgers and yummy ice cream. Then we headed to Whole Foods for some more grocery shopping, and then came home and took naps.

Sunday, of course, was Easter. We celebrated Christ’s resurrection at church in the morning, and then spent the evening enjoying yummy food and good fellowship with friends.

All the fun this past week definitely made up for the lack of fun the previous week. This week promises more pretty weather, so I’m sure we’ll be headed to the park, playing outside, and doing any other fun things we can think of to enjoy Spring!

Wordless Wednesday: Spring

Thoughtfully penned on April 29th, 2009 and generally concerning E, Spring, Wordless Wednesday

Spring Reading Thing Wrap-up

Thoughtfully penned on June 21st, 2007 and generally concerning Goals, Reading, Spring
Spring Reading Thing

As Spring winds to a close, so does the Spring Reading Thing that Katrina has been hosting at Callapidder Days. The challenge has been good and bad, but overall I’ve enjoyed reading with some goals in mind.

My original reading list can be found here. Reviews of Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Double Bind are here. And an update from approximately half-way through the challenge can be found here.

I did well on the fiction portion of my list making it through Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Double Bind, The Yada Yada Prayer Group, and Peace Like a River with no problem. I am currently reading Sense and Sensibility and expect to have it finished by the first of next week. Over the course of the last three months I picked up several additional fiction books that I completed as well. I have done short reviews/recaps of all the books in a separate post.

On the non-fiction portion of my list, I didn’t do so well. I have realized a couple of reasons that I have a harder time reading fiction, though. As I mentioned in my earlier update I like to read at bedtime, and, for me, non-fiction doesn’t lend itself to bedtime reading. I don’t want to read anything while I’m winding down that requires a lot of effort to read for comprehension or that makes me think (as thinking tends to impede sleeping). Also, I like to read quickly and I can’t read both for comprehension and speed. Finally, one reason I like to read as a form of mental escape; I want to be swept up in the characters, setting, and plot and feel like I’m observing the story. This just isn’t possible with a lot of non-fiction. I do still plan to read or finish reading all of the books on my non-fiction list, I just don’t know when.

As to my Bible reading, I didn’t do nearly as well as I would have liked (discipline, my child), but I did finish 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Nehemiah, and Ephesians.

Probably my favorite of the new books I’ve read this Spring was Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I wasn’t sure about it at the very beginning, but it didn’t take long for the characters and story to draw me in and keep me wanting more. It is a touching and memorable story of family and a son’s view on a father touched by God. Mr. Enger writes in a classic literary style; his characters are deep and distinctly human.

My least favorite book of the Spring had to be Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. This was one on my master reading list that I picked up at the library a couple of weeks ago. I just couldn’t get into it, and only made it through about the first 100 pages. Not the book for me.

I really enjoyed most of the reading I did the last few months. My master reading list is getting to be quite hefty (and only grew as I read the lists of other participants), so it was nice to have a smaller “goal” list from which to choose books. I’m looking forward to participating in the Fall reading challenge when the time rolls around.

Thanks to Katrina for pulling the challenge together and for all of your work on the book give aways. To see the wrap-ups for other participants, click here.

SRT: Book recaps/reviews

Thoughtfully penned on June 20th, 2007 and generally concerning Reading, Spring
Spring Reading Thing

During the Spring Reading Thing I’ve read several novels; here are recaps/reviews of the books I’ve read since March 21st (in addition to Confessions of a Shopaholic and The Double Bind – reviews here):

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella: another light and quick read from the author of the Shopaholic books. It is an entertaining story of friendship, family quirks, office politics, and co-worker romances.

by Michael Crichton: Mr. Crichton delves into genetic engineering, bioethics, cloning, and the inner workings of bio-industry in this sci-fi/science thriller about what the next step in evolution will be. It wasn’t my favorite of his books, but I can’t give a fully accurate opinion of it because I had about 100 pages left to read when I had to return it to the library.

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy: a series of stories revolving around a shrine to St. Ann at a well near the Irish town of Rossmore. I really prefer novels to short story collections, but I like the way Maeve Binchy weaves together characters and locations in her stories. This collection includes tales of love, greed, alcoholism, infidelity, and many other topics as seen through the eyes of the pious and not-so-pious, the young and old, the locals and visitors.

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger: Told from the perspective of a grown man looking back on a couple of years in his childhood, this is a novel about family, perseverance, and doing the right thing even if that isn’t what you want to do. Written in a classic literary style, Mr. Enger develops deep characters and creates wonderful word pictures. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend adding it to your “to be read” list.

The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson: I’m not a big Christian fiction fan because, in my experience, the plots tend to be predictable in an “everything works out in the end” kind of way, and this book wasn’t an exception to that rule. That being said, I could relate to the main character in many ways and did, for the most part, enjoy the book. This is the story (first in a series) of a group of women who meet by “chance” when they are assigned to the same prayer group at a Christian women’s conference. Through circumstances of the weekend they decide to keep the group together after the conference and see each other through various situations both in friendship and prayer.

Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells: I really can’t say much about this book as I didn’t make it past the first 100 pages. I just couldn’t get into the characters or story.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: The children’s classic about three children who travel through time with the help of Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit. It is a story of love for one’s father, good vs. evil, and the time-space continuum. I read this once in elementary school, but I didn’t remember much about the story. I really enjoyed this book; the characters are likable, the writing held my attention, and the story is fun in a serious sort of way.

I think that covers them all; I hope you’ve enjoyed your Spring reading as much as I have.

A purging binge

Thoughtfully penned on June 18th, 2007 and generally concerning House, Housework, Spring

No, I am not bulimic; fortunately, I have never struggled with eating disorders. Eating – why yes, that is something I engage in regularly; but the purging part, well, not so much. I really hate to vomit. But I digress; on to the point of the post.

Every year in late Spring or early Summer I go into purge mode. When I’m purging there is very little that is truly safe; pretty much anything that isn’t nailed down is fair game. Matt can sense purge mode coming and begins to nail things down. Things like the dishes, clothes, furniture. You know, the stuff that every sensible person cleans out once a year. I mean, do you really need to eat off of a plate? Are you really going to wear that shirt again (no matter that you wear it once a week)?

The last several weeks I’ve been cleaning out. It all started when my neighbor, Lindsey, and I decided to have a yard sale. I went through the house ruthlessly searching for anything that we no longer used or needed, then I enlisted Matt’s help in the hunt. We ended up with boxes of things that we toted to Lindsey’s driveway in hopes that our trash would be someone else’s treasure. What didn’t sell went immediately to Goodwill. A couple of hundred dollars and more space in cabinets and closets were ample reward.

This weekend I attacked our paperwork. “Important” papers had grown to take up a two-drawer filing cabinet and a couple of other file boxes; I could take no more. It took a good portion of two days to sort through and shred all of the papers we were holding onto that we didn’t really need. I filled four kitchen size trash bag with paper and got down to one file box containing the papers that really are important. I feel a hundred pounds lighter.

So, today I am thankful for a husband who puts up with (even encourages to an extent) this quirk of mine and I am thankful for our cross-cut shredder. I’m sure the shredder is thankful for a day of rest.

A morning walk

Thoughtfully penned on May 31st, 2007 and generally concerning E, Of games and good things, Satisfaction, Spring, The Glory of God

Little and I went for a nice walk this morning. We went over to the library and back winding through residential streets all the way. As we walked we passed several older people who were also out for a morning stroll, everyone smiled and said “hello,” and one lady even stopped to chat for a moment and comment on how cute Little is. It was a pleasant walk even though it was overcast and 70 degrees with humidity of 83%. Welcome to late Spring in the South!

I really enjoy walking, and it is even more fun now with Little buckled into the stroller rolling along in front of me. This morning she chatted and sang, watched the birds, played with her stroller toys, then fell asleep about 10 minutes from home. It is so fun to watch her interact with her surroundings, especially when we are outdoors.

Although the flowers of early Spring (my favorites – daffodils and tulips) have long faded away, it is nice to see the summer green of trees and grass and the blooms of the crepe myrtle and magnolia. There is a sense of the magnificence of God that can only be felt in the presence of the beauty of creation. There is a sense of the peace of God that is felt in a morning walk in a quiet neighborhood with the birds happily chirping in the trees. There is a sense of the joy of God that is felt in scampering squirrels and jabbering little girls.

As I passed under a towering magnolia not far from home I breathed deeply of the sweet scent of its blooms, and I felt satisfied.

Little’s Closet: an organizational challenge

Thoughtfully penned on April 3rd, 2007 and generally concerning Goals, Housework, Motherhood, Sidetrack'd, Spring

I’ve mentioned before that Little has a lot of clothes because I can’t stop buying she outgrows them so quickly at this age. Add to the clothes all of the other miscellaneous items required for being 8 months old and you have all the elements for an organizational nightmare. I tend to be a fairly well organized person and clutter usually drives me to the brink of insanity, but I just haven’t been able to get my arms around Little’s closet yet.

In an effort to be motivated and inspired toward getting this area under control, I’m going to join up with the 30 Day Organizational Challenge at I’m an Organizing Junkie. Thanks, Laura, for getting me up and going for a good Spring cleaning.

I will be focusing on the closet, but the organization will, by necessity, include other areas of her room. You can tell by the pictures below that clothes have kind of taken over the place and now must be contained.

There are a few issues in dealing with her space: her room is quite small (meaning no room for an additional piece of furniture), her closet is quite small, there is an existing “closet system” in place that I need to work around, I would like for the system I choose to grow with her to some extent.

There are also many things that must be organized into her closet and room. This includes: storage for dirty clothes, outgrown clothes, and not-yet-grown-into clothes; neat and accessible storage for the clothes, shoes, socks, etc that she is currently wearing; a place to contain clothes that will go to charity, consignment, or on eBay; items we are storing until we can give them back to the rightful owners (on loan hand-me-downs); a place for sheets, burpies, bibs, blankets, etc.; a place for bath stuff, safety stuff, medicine, and other items that need to be accessible but out of Little’s reach.

So, without further ado I present pictures of Little’s space (and no, her walls are not the gross color they appear to be in most of the pictures; they are actually a very pretty green):

Full Closet View

If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them below. I would love to hear some other ideas for the space. For more information on the challenge and to see what others are setting out to conquer in 30 days, click on the picture below.


A few of my favorite things

Thoughtfully penned on March 29th, 2007 and generally concerning Friendship, Motherhood, Satisfaction, Sidetrack'd, Spring

I’ve been thinking lately about some of the things that I would consider my favorites. This is not a comprehensive list, but in the spirit of Spring, here ya go (in no particular order)…

1. The warm days of Spring
2. Tulips and daffodils
3. Fresh creamed corn with fresh tomatoes
4. Budding and blooming trees
5. Little cuddling up on my chest
6. Relaxing with Matt
7. Sitting on the seashore or in the mountains marveling at God’s handiwork
8. Laughing with Matt about silly things
9. A good movie
10. Being outside
11. Re-reading Sense & Sensibility for the upteenth time
12. A good book – the kind that absorbs me and I don’t want to put down
13. Talking to and laughing with girlfriends
14. Little’s grin and laugh

These are things that make me feel good, that relax me, that I could enjoy over and over and over again. These are things for which I thank God.

Spring Reading Thing

Thoughtfully penned on March 23rd, 2007 and generally concerning Blogging News, Sidetrack'd, Spring

Yes, it is about books once again; as you know, I *heart* books. One of the things I enjoy about the mommy-blogging realm is that I can always find new book recommendations; my “to-read” list is longer now than it has ever been. And now, Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting a Spring Reading Thing. The challenge goes from March 21 through June 21 (thus, spring reading thing). To check out what others are reading and to get some book ideas for yourself click on the logo above.

I thought I would join in and set some reading goals for myself; I’ve chosen 4 non-fiction, 5 fiction, and 6 books of the Bible. I reserve the right to add to, change, or alter this list at any time and in anyway over the next 3 months.

The Mommy Manual by Barbara Curtis
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer by Mark D. Roberts
1776 by David McCullough

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)

Bible Reading:
Proverbs (I’ve been reading Proverbs throughout March)
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians

To check out what others are reading and to get some book ideas for yourself click on the logo above.