Friday, March 15, 2013

My Pots of Gold

I have been gone from home quite a bit lately, attending to details of my parents move.

I have missed my grands!

So after flying home yesterday, a few quick texts later we had arranged lunch at Grandma's today.
We celebrated the green a little early.

The table could not be simpler.
{I notice the tag on the beanie ~ cut it off already!}

Our menu was the yummy shamrock cheese ravioli from Costco.  Sorry no pic, but it is cute and yummy.  We also had green grapes and some Lucky Charms as a starter:-)

These rainbow drinks were so fun ~ the kids loved them.
All I did was cut up popsicles and layer them in the glass.
They are frosty as I had done them in advance but if you look at the pics of the kids toasting, you will see how bright and colorful the drinks were.

The layers stayed together and the colors didn't get all muddy.

After lunch they followed the clues left by Lucky the Leprechaun to find the Pot O' Gold.

Oh boy, look at the loot:-)

After all of that excitement the kids headed outside.

It was nearly 90 today and they had fun in the yard.  Elizabeth took down the Christmas decor in the playhouse and gave it a little spring makeover.

Just in time too, as next week is Palm Sunday.  I absolutely can not believe it is here so quickly.
I have so much I want to do before then.

But I was delighted today to spend some time with these sweet faces.
They are growing up so fast!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sharing with Richella's Grace at Home Party.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So Many Books, So Little Time 2

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

I love that quote by Lewis and it reflects my feelings about books, maybe not so much the tea:-)  Although I am drinking more and more tea, learning to like it more all of the time.

Time once again to go through the current reading material and see if anything catches your interest.  I know that I have found some great books from blogs.

I just finished this design book.
I did enjoy the pictures, and she did a blessings tea for her teenage daughter that was a great idea, but otherwise the book was just OK. 

Product Details

From Amazon:

Drawing from the highly-published designs she's created for hundreds of clients, Packham will inspire you to create a home that touches the souls of those within. Amid Stunning photography, stories of treasured family traditions and poignant observations by 16 year old daughter Hannah, she shares ideas that will help you create beauty, warmth and passion in your home, and make it an inspired design. "Do not underestimate the power of your home, nor its ability to change lives," writes designer Roxanne Hughes Packham. "A cup of hot tea and an hour in a cozy nook spent listening to a friend can be life-altering. "Sending well-loved, cared for children into the world to contribute to our society in positive meaningful ways is one of the most significant contributions, if not the most significant contribution, you will ever make, and your home is a major part of this endeavor. 100% of the profits of this book go to charity: Heart of Hope, Local Food Pantry, Inspired 31 and more Produced and made 100% in America. Written by Grand daughter of Allan Adler, noted American silversmith, and Great Granddaughter of Porter George Blanchard, also known as "silversmith to the stars", Packham's history and knowledge of silver and flair for table settings prove to be a winning combo. Ideas for Sentimental Parties, and occassions for teenage girls, and mothers & others, Celebrating friends & friendship. Inspirational for incorporating family history, talents, and passions into the design of the family home.

This is the design book on my pile next.  I am really enjoying it.


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This is the book I am using to add to my grandchildren's libraries.

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I buy them books for birthdays, holidays, and of course for Grandma's Camp Read A Lot.  I think I have purchased all of the books she highlighted in the  picture book section.  Many are out of print and I have been watching Amazon for old copies.  I keep a spreadsheet of titles so I can remember which ones I've bought.
I am now collecting the children's classics and elementary novels.

My Lenten devotional:

Product Details

When we went to Berlin this summer I became fascinated with stories of the Berlin Wall.  I could not and still can not imagine what it would be like to wake up and have a wall dividing my city in half.  Our guide mentioned that families were divided, fathers at work, children from parents.  I wanted to find a book that would tell me stories of that time and ran across this one.  It didn't turn out to be what I was looking for, it takes place during the war, and the wall went up much later.  But I am very interested in stories about WW2 so I ordered it anyway.


Product Details
From Amazon:

Whom do you trust, whom do you love, and who can be saved?  
It is 1943—the height of the Second World War—and Berlin has essentially become a city of women.
Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. Her lover is a Jew.

But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets.

This is the new design book:
I am not loving this book, there is not one speck of color in any of her rooms.   

Product Details

Just as feng shui embraces the spiritual teachings of the East to create harmonious spaces, this design resource illustrates how to use Christian inspiration to transform a home into a peaceful, beautiful haven. Every aspect of the design process is covered in depth, including creating a vision, tackling prep work, developing a plan, selecting a team, meeting requirements, and completing the project. Ideas center on design principles that are tied directly to biblical principles and each chapter includes a section with an inspirational verse and a centering prayer.

This is our March book for Book Club.
We didn't love this book, I found I could never quite care about the people, and I still don't feel like I really understand what happened that day.  She did touch on China's one child policy, and that is a subject that I am very interested in, but that certainly wasn't the focus of the book.  It is primarily about the student protests in 1989.
I still am glad I read it as I know very little about China and I did gain a little knowledge.  That's one of my favorite things about a book club, I get exposed to books I would never read on my own and that is always a good thing.


Product Details

from Amazon:

More than twenty years ago, Chai Ling led the protesters at Tiananmen Square and became China's most-wanted female fugitive. Today, she's finally telling her astonishing story. Though haunted by memories of the horrifying massacre at Tiananmen and her underground escape from China in a cargo box, Ling threw herself into pursuing the American dream. She completed Ivy League degrees, found love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. Yet her longing for true freedom, purpose, and peace remained unfulfilled. Years after Tiananmen, she was still searching to find meaning in all the violence, fear, and tragedy she'd endured. A Heart for Freedom is her tale of passion, political turmoil, and spiritual awakening . . . and the inspirational true story of a woman who has dedicated everything to giving people in China their chance at a future. Find out why Publishers Weekly calls A Heart for Freedom "a tale of human dignity and the imperative to live a life of meaning. . . . This book will be treasured."

And now for a few favorites for children:

This is an Easter book that I bought last year.  It is out of print, but worth looking for.

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We will be reading this book in May for our book club, but it is an old favorite.  I especially like the book that  Tasha Tudor illustrated.  I have an old copy from when my girls were young.

The Secret Garden (HarperClassics)

Elizabeth and I read this book, The Little Princess, last summer.  What a vocabulary builder this book was!

Here are just a few words I had to define for my 7 year old,
thoroughfares, principally, bungalow, obliged, attain, console, quaint, frock, solemn, supple, bade, inordinately, pupil, and so on.  These were just gleaned from a few pages in the beginning of the book.

The language was so rich, the sentences were long, and the phrases were old fashioned and I feared that Elizabeth wasn't understanding the story very well, but she was, and she loved it. Which just goes to show you that children are capable of so much more than we credit them, and so many of these new books are so watered down ~ we are missing the opportunity to enrich and enlarge their minds.

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I love this quote from Madeleine L'Engle:

"The more limited our language is, the more limited we are; the more limited the literature we give to our children, the more limited their capacity to respond, and therefore, in their turn, to create.  The more our vocabulary is controlled, the less we will be able to think for ourselves.  We do think in words, and the fewer words we know, the more restricted our thoughts.  As our vocabulary expands, so does our power to think."

Doesn't that make you want to run out and buy good books for your children or grandchildren?

Happy Reading!

Sharing with Richella at Imparting Grace.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Signs of Spring

A short little post to say WELCOME to the signs of spring around my yard.

This is Carolina Jessamine, or Jasmine, whichever you prefer.  We have a couple of vines on our front fence and this is its first year to be a little showy.

I just love it.

This is a lonesome little hyacinth in my front yard.  I bought this little plant at the grocery store a few years ago and enjoyed its blooms in the house.  After it died away I decided to stick it in the ground and forgot all about it. 
Well, it has rewarded me these past few years by returning, and I think this year it is even bigger.  Bob commented today that it looked a little lonely.  I really didn't think it would bloom, and so never thought to add more.  But this fall I will have to reward this faithful bloomer with a few friends.
{the smell is heavenly}

And lastly our Bradford Pear trees are bursting into bloom.  Our blossoms don't last long for some reason.  I suspect in a few days this tree will be covered in leaves.  Our neighbors enjoy the white blossoms for a lot longer than we do for some unknown horticultural reason.

I am enjoying our Texas spring in all its wide variety.  We hit 86 yesterday and then the wind howled and the temperatures dropped to the 60's today.  But I talked to my sister today {in MN} who was entertaining her little ones home from school as they welcomed about 10 inches of snow last night.  
No thanks:-)

Welcome spring!