It's my Eric's birthday today. I am always mindful, always grateful for the healthy lives of my children, their spouses and my grandchildren, but never more so than on their birthdays.
I'm also grateful that I have lived in the time that I have. If I had been born 100 years ago, at least 1 and quite probably 2 of my children would not have survived their births. Typing these birthday posts gives me the opportunity to take the time to think about these children I was blessed with, and to think about how lucky I've been to be their mom.
This boy has always been fun to be around. He is upbeat, happy and was usually willing to take on whatever we asked him to do. His brothers also say that he was an instigator...that he was really good at starting something and then stepping back and looking really innocent. I mean, just look at those sweet little eyes in the first picture!
He works hard, but not so hard that he neglects the important things...like cleaning bathrooms when he's asked.
Love this boy because I'm his mama. 36 hours of posterior labor? I'd do it again to get him here. Happy birthday to my Eric! I love you!
The number one thing, of course, has been getting ready to go meet Levi. It's a little problematic going out, because I'm packing a baby quilt and other things that will stay out there. So theoretically, I could take more of my wardrobe, but it's really hard to get it all in the suitcase. Coming back would be no problem, but going out...I'm having to winnow. It's a tough thing when I look at the weather for the upcoming week and see that we've got a range from the low 50's to the upper 70's to work around.
Our community Chorale performed the latter part of the Messiah. Great music that is challenging, but beautiful to sing, both in the melodies as well as the words and the messages they convey..."Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs," "Lift Up Your Heads," "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth." Despair, hope, love, joy...the whole gamut of emotions can be experienced.
This picture is actually a little nanny-boo for my children. I made some bread this week and there's absolutely nothing like the smell that wafts through the house while this is baking. And if the smell is good? The taste of hot, fresh bread is killer. Nanny-boo.
Spent some time mailing stuff this week. There were a few random things going out to Bryce and Elise, and birthday stuff to Eric.
From the kids and grandkids this week, Edward had a piano recital. It seems that I've been having a lot of deja vu moments lately. How many piano/vocal/choir performances and recitals did I sit through with 6 musical children? Oh....a few, and now we are starting on the next generation. Edward did great.
Eric texted me these pictures of his kids on a bike ride. Go, Gwen, go!
And Emmett is still rocking the heart glasses. :)
My DIL, Alison, had a mommy/son date with James while Collin was chasing turkeys with my husband last weekend.
James found some rain boots to try on.
And Isaac met his new little brother. According to Marc he wanted to hold Levi all the time. Mama and Levi are doing really well. My DIL had to have a c-section with Isaac, too, so she knows what to expect, and from all accounts Levi is nursing well and they may be home by the time I'm able to get out there.
Both Bryce and my daughter moved to new spots in the break last week between winter and spring semesters. They both will be going to the spring quarter. My daughter and I have been in almost constant communication about wedding plans. This week we nailed down a photographer and a florist, and met with the gals who will be helping with the reception. I feel like we're making progress, but since I've never done things from the bride perspective before, I'm always wondering if I'm forgetting something.
Meet little Levi John, born yesterday, almost a week before his due date. This was the first picture Marc sent me, and I have to say he was looking like he wasn't sure this new place was as nice as where he's been.
He's a cute little guy, weighing in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces, and made his entrance via c-section when his heart rate wouldn't stay where the doctors wanted it to.
Mama and baby are doing well, and gramma will be traveling out to see him and his big brother pretty soon.
Just showing a few things I finished up from the time my husband was gone.
I worked on another card kit, wanting to get some "happy spring" cards done for the church girls before I need to head off to go play gramma at Isaac's house.
As with the last kit I worked with, there was a collection of 3x4 cards that could go right on the front of a card base with just a little embellishing. Same cards from the other direction.
And a few more. The kit came with the flower stamp set. I pulled out the "hi" die from my stash and used it on a shiny gold/yellow paper that was in the kit.
This one might be my favorite. I found the butterfly in my "yellow things" drawer. I stamped the greeting with Versamark ink and then used black embossing powder. I'm not entirely pleased with the result. I think stamping in black with clear powder over the top might work better.
When the available patterned paper pieces got smaller, the card design changed a little. I love the black/yellow/grey color scheme.
And those last little strips.
Project Life pages for last week. You've seen most of these pictures.
And the other side. I am current and I love that I have been able to keep up, add in special days or experiences, be a little creative and yet the app makes it possible to do this and leaves me time to be creative with physical supplies as well.
Another asparagus recipe this week. I try to take as much advantage of the season as I can. I also prefer fatter asparagus spears to the more fragile, skinny ones. I found this recipe in a magazine called Home Cooking. I don't think it's in existence any more which makes me sad. I made about a third of a recipe for 1 pound of asparagus, as the butter called for just seemed like a little much. I tried the sauce recipe on some fresh green beans last week as well and it was just as tasty.
Asparagus with Herby Butter Sauce
2 pounds fresh asparagus spears
1/2 cups butter
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon flour
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs....tarragon, rosemary, parsley (I used chives)
Trim and wash asparagus, peeling any tough spears.
To cook asparagus, use an asparagus cooker (really?? Does anyone actually own one of these things??) or tie the asparagus in bundles. (I used a rubber band.)
Stand asparagus on end in water that comes about 3/4 of the way up the spears. (I used a stock pot and leaned the spears against the side of the pot.) Cover with a lid and boil 4-5 minutes, until asparagus is tender.
In the meantime, mix together the butter, lemon juice and flour in a glass measuring cup. Add the milk and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir it and microwave another 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the herbs.
So around here this week, we've had a mix of weather...cool to way too hot and back to normal again.
Evan and I did some more garden planting. We got a couple of different varieties of peas in, a small first planting of lettuce and spinach, some regular orange carrots (in contrast to the fancy red and purple ones we planted last week), and a few parsnips.
I planted some pansies in the front pots. It's not spring without pansies.
An early morning shot of my lilacs. I know you saw them already, but they are just going nuts this year. I wish they lasted longer.
I walk most mornings with a friend of mine and we turned a corner and saw blossoms falling from these trees. It looked like a spring snowfall. My kids will know right where this is.
I spent some time re-doing the indexes for my recipe binders, after I filed various recipes I have printed off internet sites. I also spent a chunk of time putting together a menu plan for when I head out to the mid-west after Isaac's brother is born. It helps me to have a plan, so I printed off recipes I needed and got a shopping list together so I can hit the ground running. Probably a good thing I took care of this as the little guy may be putting in his appearance sooner rather than later. We'll just have to see.
From the kids and grandkids this week, I got a picture of Emmett, feeling pretty cool.
In my husband's travels this week, he was able to visit with Marc's and Collin's families. The boys had a fun time together. This was a deja vu moment for me. I can't tell you how may pictures I have of my little boys in the tub.
My husband has been doing a little traveling this week. Since he's been gone, I've kept busy.
I put together 2 actual paper layouts, and they both had a common theme. This was Caroline's blessing day.
And then my daughter's. I had a hard time getting really excited about these really old, really bad pictures, but the event needed documenting. What I really wanted to capture was the dress I'd made for her, but you can't see the detail in these pictures. What I think is really cute, though, is the way her brothers all hovered over her while we were getting her ready.
I made some cards with some paper scraps that were sitting on my table. I wanted to make some guy birthday cards, and got about 10 from the scraps I had.
I also pulled out a card kit so I could start on some "happy spring" cards for my church girls.
Lastly, here are the last 2 weeks from the Project Life app.
I put all my Victoria pictures into PL templates and just made my week several pages, rather than just a 2 page spread.
I tried out a few templates that I haven't used before.
You've seen almost all of these pictures on my blog "slide show."
True confession....I have several trips from many years ago that I haven't documented. Vacation pictures are hard for me because there are usually so many of them.
So this is yet another advantage of the app. I can plug in my pictures and in an evening, I'm totally finished...journaling and everything. I cut an pasted it in from my Day One app. Not only do I have the vacation documented, but a few everyday and grandbaby moments as well, and the week is done. :)
These are last week's pages, documenting the heat, and the garden planting.
And the other side, documenting the blooming things, and my husband doing some traveling. It's amazing what I can get done with large, uninterrupted blocks of time.
Spring color makes me happy, and while I'm not a fan of hot weather, I do love the new growth and color showing up in my yard.
Let's take a tour, shall we? The peach tree is loaded with blossoms. I just hope the temperatures stay just warm enough not to freeze the fruit.
Likewise, the plum tree is going crazy.
My regular yellow daffodils have faded, but the more interesting varieties are blooming now.
These look like regular daffodils, but are a pale peach color.
Cute, huh? The blossoms on these are tiny....about the size of a large quarter.
The pink bleeding hearts are out. I have a white variety in my back flower bed, but it faces north and always blooms later.
The hostas have started up.
The flowering almond is putting on its annual show.
And my lilac hedge? Well, when I walk into the backyard, it smells good, even if it is about a month early. I roamed around a garden center this week, looking for 3 or 4 roses to add to my collection. I have a blank spot in my yard that is just begging me to put some in. I found what I wanted, meaning that I found some really fragrant varieties, but the garden center wouldn't let me take their precious babies for a couple of weeks, saying it was too early to put them in the ground. OK....I was really surprised by that. I have them tagged and have permission to come get them right before I head out to Marc's to play gramma.
I'll be very honest. It works great for shining up appliances and general stuff like that. I tried it on the outside of my microwave, dishwasher and ovens and it made them nice and shiny...and it smells good. However, I had some sticky Roger fingerprints on my stainless fridge that didn't budge. I ended up using rubbing alcohol on them.
I also made up the scrub by grinding up what was left after straining the liquid and combining it with baking soda. This does an amazing job on my stainless kitchen sink. I will also try this on my toilet next time it needs cleaning. So, overall it works fine, but has it's limitations, and I'm feeling like my experiment was pretty successful.