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Merry Christmas, y’all

Another Christmas has come and gone. For the past few weeks we have been wrapped in a flurry of school parties, play dates with friends, baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses, long, lazy evenings watching movies, visits from grandparents, Christmas Eve cocktails with neighbors and Christmas Day oysters with good friends.

Fletcher’s favorite gifts this year were his much anticipated iPod Touch and the surprise Skylanders Giants, followed by his new Lego chess set (he is determined to teach me to play chess.) Santa brought Lola Gray the guitar she has been dreaming of, and her grandparents showered her with American Girl goodies galore. But Lo says her favorite gift of all is the betta fish from Mommy and Daddy. She named him Fishy Fishy.

My favorite gifts, cheesy though it may sound, are the amazing people around me, both big and small. I am so, incredibly lucky to share my life with them.

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My Sunshine




The miracle of a can of paint

When we moved into our house three years ago, we were full of plans. But, as often happens, those plans sometimes get put on hold. Sometimes for a loooong time. Our butler’s pantry is a prime example of that. We put off replacing the ugly laminate counter tops for so long, I finally had to accept it was just not going to happen. Acceptance can be a beautiful thing – a thing that sends you to the hardware store in search of a cheap solution and sends you home with 2 cans of paint and a plan. And before long . . . freshly painted woodwork, freshly painted counter tops and a fresh start for an underused space! I’m thinking about getting some bar stools so the kids can sit and do their homework without covering up the kitchen table. . . . I wish I had done this years ago!

Tuesday afternoon and nothing to do

But play Bakugans in the back yard . . .

And watch the figs grow . . .

It is amazing what fun games can develop out of boredom! I think we don’t allow our children (or ourselves!) to be bored often enough these days . . . .

This is where I am happiest . . .

with cucumbers in flower . . .

And tomatoes we hope will ripen before we have to leave . . . .

And jasmine finally, amazingly in bloom . . .

Just a Tuesday afternoon with nothing to do.

Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sundays are the best. No plan. No where to be. Just hangin’ out. 

The kids have played beautifully today. Exactly the way we always hope they will, but never really seem to. No television. They haven’t even asked to watch a show. They played in the yard all morning, came in for lunch, then back out to play.

This morning I made another batch of strawberry jam, made some granola and some white bean dip for tomorrow’s lunch. This afternoon Raymond and the kids relocated the plastic play set. We thought we were putting it in the attic before sending it to cousin Benjamin, but F & LG seem suddenly to have a new interest in it so it has moved to a new home outside  the kitchen door for the moment. While they worked on the play set, I painted the new chicken coop! It is all ready, now we are just waiting on the chickens . . .

Puppet shows, Sweet Tea & Monday mornings

Monday mornings are hard. I hate getting up and leaving. Even more so when Lola Gray cries and clings to me, as she has been doing of late. She will grab my arm and say she is never letting go. It breaks my heart. This morning I made it out the door only to have her press her sweet face to the mail slot, sobbing and saying “Mommy don’t go!” I know full well that she is fine 5 minutes after I leave, but her tears make the leaving so, so hard. Only a few more weeks until summer break. I can’t wait!

Sunday afternoon was the Ardsley Park Spring Fling. We stayed close to home most of the day, lounging in our jammies and watching puppet shows. Both Fletcher and Lola Gray painted backdrops for their puppet shows, and came up with long and elaborate story lines. Lola Gray’s show centered around a singing princess elephant. Fletcher’s featured a seal who beat up bad guys and saved the world from evil. Both did a great job – I particularly loved Lola Gray’s painted backdrop of musical notes and Fletcher’s addition of scary music and sound effects to heighten the suspense.

The Spring Fling was a blur, as these events always seem to be. Lots of good food, lots of friends, great music by the Tenderloin Trio (Lola Gray loves dancing to their music and watching them play) and of course the giant bouncy slide. Everyone had a great time, though the children, left a little too much to their own devices, drank their weight in Sweet Tea and ate fistfuls of brownies and cookies. The combination of sugar and caffeine was a bit much, and though they got in bed an hour and a half later than normal they still had a hard time getting to sleep – and woke much earlier than they should have!