The last thing I want to admit is that summer break is flying by and the beginning of another school year is rapidly approaching. Where, oh where, did the time go?! We have less than 3 weeks to go, and I'm determined to spend as much quality time with Josiah as I can. Today's activity = terrariums!!! Here's a peek...

Our supplies...

...start with big rocks on the bottom...

...then fill with cactus soil...

...add plants...

...and the rocks Mom and Dad handpicked on their honeymoon...

...and voila! Josiah's terrarium!

We can enjoy this together for many years to come (or until a ball knocks it off the shelf)!!!

Pinterest: Blogs & Blurbs

Oh, how I love Pinterest. It's saved my life...just kidding! Well, actually it has returned my enthusiasm for constantly finding new teaching ideas, solved many organizing dilemmas, introduced me to the world of blogging, provided many yummy recipes, and sparked many brilliant ideas. I refuse to feel guilty for spending a few minutes each day pinning when it's been such a great resource and SO much fun. It's also what prompted me to begin blogging and hatched my blurb plan.

Let me explain... I didn't really begin reading blogs until around Christmas of last year, and it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted in on the fun. Two blogs later, I'm hooked! Then a few weeks ago I pinned an idea for making family yearbooks through Blurb. At first I dismissed the idea since I've always used Shutterfly, but the more I considered it the more it makes sense. My former brilliant idea had been to just create Shutterfly books for all my kids individually, but making a family yearbook (and then ordering copies for everyone to take with them when they grow up, maybe...someday down the road) just makes so much more sense. The deciding factor, though, was the realization that I could incorporate blog posts into this book. Holy cow! Talk about making two hobbies suddenly go from being exclusive to working hand in hand. Totally resonates with my resolution to simply my life this year and "work smarter, not harder."

I am definitely not a fabulous blogger, yet, but I've found that I do really enjoy it. It has the same therapeutic quality as journaling, even though your thoughts are being broadcast to the world. Still, I have neglected to write many times when I should have because I've felt guilty investing the time. Now, however, as I'm narrating the day-to-day I can use it to string each year together. Woohoo!!! I am just so excited to begin working, and I may even work my way backwards all the back back to our wedding. After all, if a scrapbook I began 9 years hasn't been finished yet, it probably won't ever be (yes, our wedding album...how embarrassing). Josiah's baby book and the journaling I attempted can be included, the unfinished Christmas scrapbooks can be included...so many fragmented projects can all be incorporated and finally finished! And the best part...new purpose for my blog!!! I will probably still post about some of the projects I'm working on, because that makes me excited too, but the main purpose will be to tell the story of our family. Which means...when I make each blurb book most of the journaling will be done already! If you've read my earlier posts, you already know that I'm great at starting and not finishing, and if you have ever scrapbooked you know that journaling is the final step. How awesome to not have to try to remember and detail events from months ago!

So...I know have to wrap up this post so that I can begin another which will, of course, go in our blurb book for 2012!!!!


Favorite Summer Pictures (so far)!!!

I would love nothing more than to sit down and do these pictures justice by creating separate posts and narrating each event, but...alas...it's 12:38 am. This is normally not a cause of alarm, however I've just realized that there are only 3 weeks remaining until school begins. Considering that I haven't gotten out of bed before 8:00 all summer presents a problem. So for now, here are just a few of our favorites. I'll tell the stories later!!!


A Sleepover...3 Year Old Style

Oh how I love watching my sweetheart grow and experience things I remember from childhood. Last night we had an impromptu sleepover with our neighbor, and they lived it up big time. Full bath with lots of splashing and a squirter (the ceiling was a little wet), wearing their matching pajamas, and squishing side by side on the bed with Jim to read Oh the Places you Go (Dr. Seuss is Jim and Josiah's favorite, besides Waldo)...then wrapping up the evening by giggling and whispering instead of going right to sleep. Listening to them from the next room made my heart smile. :)

So I am also, admittedly, on a mission to be one of Josiah's friends' favorite moms and known for cooking all things yummy, and I stayed up late to bake a special breakfast just for the boys. We have 5 lbs of "to die for" blueberries, and I found a super scrumptious recipe on Pinterest. Here it is! http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/ I stayed up until after 1:00 waiting for that puppy to finish baking! Not only that, but trying to double a new recipe that late at night usually takes me twice as long because I'm paranoid about doing everything correctly and doubling ALL the ingredients. AND this one required butter and eggs at room temperature, which I managed to NOT realize at the same time. Oops! Anyway, after staying up extra late neither of them ate more than two bites...turkeys!!! Oh well, more for me, right?

The sweetest part of the sleepover was this morning, when both kiddos came and snuggled with me in bed. How much longer until Josiah grows out of his snuggling phase? I'm afraid it can't be too much longer since he's already three and a half, so I'm going to cherish every minute until it's gone. Anyway...we spent the remainder of the morning playing T-ball in the backyard, retrieving golf balls out of the pool (using the golf ball retriever since it's a whole foot deep), jumping off a toy tote into the pool over and over...here's a few action shots!!!



If there was an award for starting the most projects I'd win hands down! If there was an award for not finishing the most projects, I'd win that too. I am notorious for having great ideas and starting them, but I am not a great finisher. Jim's classic example of this is the stack of books with bookmarks (all usually less than 1 cm worth of pages away from the front cover) sitting on the top of the shelf next to my bed. I also have at least 5 unfinished scrapbooks (at one point in my life I did actually work on these), and organizing projects either begun or hatching in my brain in every room in our house. AUGH! No wonder I make myself stressed and frustrated, and no wonder I always feel like I haven't accomplished anything at the end of the day when I haven't even sat down. Can anyone else relate?

My mission for the summer is to simply finish. Finish a book before I start another, go through the stacks of paper I've piled in the office and kitchen to file "later," finish the hosta bed in the back, finish staining the fence...you get the picture. I know that I will never be able to finish all the things I've started or begin to tackle all the other things I'm itching to start, but I have actually managed to finish a few things things I set out to do! If you read a few weeks ago, I DID finish cleaning out ALL my kitchen cupboards and install a shelving system in our garage. Woohoo!!! Current projects to finish: cleaning out clothes, filing and wrapping up paperwork in more places than I can count, clean out the bathroom cupboards, deadhead and prune in the yard, and finish reading Inheritance. Think I can do all that in a week and a half? Wish me luck!!!