Sentimental Stitching

My sister and I always loved visiting my Grandparents in Florida. As a child your memory grabs onto snippets of life that delighted you, unable to comprehend that those times will not last forever, you retain what suits your fancy. The memories of childhood usually contain the very best days.  It can be humorous as an adult taking firm account of things you remember: smells, treats, and novelties.  I imagine this summer, as four-year olds, my children will cherry pick their own first memories - only they themselves can decide what to hold dear, what to remember on their journey into adulthood.  In that way, memories are our first true life long possession.

In my mind lives the smell of Florida, the taste of fresh grapefruit picked off the tree in the yard, the all over pink of the bathroom with its fancy pink soaps you never used, the heat of my sunburns, the taste of Shirley Temples, and dinners at “The Club” where after a few drinks all the men at the table would break into song and sing.  And of course there was the cookie tin, out in the washroom.  The big metal tin filled with cookies my grandmother would bake in expectation of our arrival.  For two small girls not allowed sugar, this was a VERY big deal.  The cookie tin always sat on a sweet hand towel printed with hearts and flowers.  My Grandmother Pinky has passed but she lived to bake those very cookies into her 90′s. The cookie tin has since disappeared but the  hand towel remains.  It is faded and stained but I swear it still smells of Florida.  There is just enough fabric there for a special sentimental stitching project for my sister and I.  To honor the memories of an era of in our lives when we were  grandchildren and there were always plenty of Grama Pinky’s cookies.

June 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Poppy Seed & Balsamic Coleslaw Recipe

Summer is here and every weekend is ripe with activity and festivities.  Bonfires, parties, picnics, celebrations, parades, potlucks, camping and more….

We New Englanders wait all through the long hard winter for this, it’s time to come out of hibernation, mingle and feel euphoric. We come outdoors and plant our food praying for a good crop, we open the windows and let the freshness blow in off the rolling hills,  we pretend the black flies don’t bite!  We soak in the sun and pack in much fun.  We rejoice in how simple summer life can be, for right now the shift in seasons is oh so grand.

Thank you for the beauty and bounty of this land! Thank you for those who in each and every way strive to keep it pure, clean, safe, and true – Thank you.

(Oh and thank you for throwing candy in the street because,  if you are 4,  that is almost as cool as the sky raining ice cream cones!)

 

June 1st, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

Color by Number

 

Super Hero Color By NumberColor by number pages, you pick the colors and make it different everytime!

Click photo, save to file and print.

May 30th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

I was a baby, I’m much bigger now

My boys are hugely motivated as all children are, to be BIG!  They tell me stories, half true, partly fabricated about the things they did as babies.  It’s sweet and endearing to hear them list the things they now know with bluster and pride.  On the way to school one day Oliver gave this account of all the things he knows :

“Mom, I know lots of stuff.  Like I know you don’t take some one else’s wood, and I know you don’t poop right in front of someones house, and I know that if you cut down a tree in the woods you yell pimber.”  To which Emmett yells, “It’s timber!”.  Oliver then shrieks “PIMBER!”, which starts a sibling yelling match.

You say timber, I say pimber, let’s call the whole thing off.  I drive peacefully on, committing the entire moment to memory and feeling thankful that they have perhaps finally learned not to poop in front of someone’s house!

The thing is, they ARE getting bigger. All of a sudden I see their long bodies stretched out in their little beds and realize, oh dear, they will in fact not be small forever.  A thought that had previously loomed large in my moments of overwhelmed mamahood!  So I am taking it slower, this growing up business.  I am finding a bit more time to document their smallness, the size of their still tiny hands and their need for 700 hugs from Mama everyday.  Doing my best to soak in all that small.

Some back woods hop scotch!

May 29th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Make a Toy Rocket

I have been a bit obsessed with tape lately.  I found out about Japanese Washi Tapes and spent hours drooling over the patterns and colors. The washi tape is simply beautiful but a bit too precious for most of the kid projects. I did splurge and get a few rolls but hid it from my little crafters, which means… I will now forget where I put it and it will be missing for upwards of a year!  What works great for my boys is this colored masking tape, in big, cheap, sticky, bright rolls.  Oh so FUN!  I bet you will see it popping up a lot around here.

This project was inspired by a four-year old friend of ours and his super cool vinegar baking soda rockets. Every time we visit his house he has a new space ship made from recycled bottles and cardboard.

We crafted our small rockets from cast off Play Dough jars. We make most of our own “fun dough” but somehow we still manage to collect quite a few of these cool little containers. Next we tackled a big orange juice container rocket and it fit a whole bunch of astronauts and friends inside.

Yesterday at our house, plastic bottles got new lives as – Toy Rockets!!

5,4,3,2,1, Blast OFF!

Click directions, save to file, print &  make your own Recycle Rocket.

May 29th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

The letter Y

Beautiful day yesterday, with the temperatures bouncing into the 80′s, we packed up the sand toys and mosied down to the lake. The water was friendly and the sun felt like a long-lost old friend.

Leaning there against the beach house was the most beautifully carved stick – with the bark carefully carved off in stripes, the ends whittled into perfect points.  There waiting just for ME – the proverbial Y!

While boys ran off playing here and there in the sand making friends, I sat on my towel thinking of the letter Y.

A hodgepodge of thoughts on the letter Y…

Y as in YES. I should try to say “YES” more often!  My days are overly fraught with no, NO and *@%# NOOOOO!

For instance… YES you can bang my computer with a hammer, YES you can chase the chickens wielding a giant stick, YES you can have ice cream every day, and YES you can stay up till midnight blowing that shrill whistle in my face.

The word WHY,  spoken as Y. Have I mentioned that I have two four year olds? The word Y blasts through my ears with the pitch and frequency of a smoke detector in need of new batteries.

And lastly Y chromosome. The wonder of nature that makes these beings that are male, that are boys, testosterone filled all the way up to their sweet little eyeballs.  That Y energy, flowing through their bodies with such force that I would not blink if they raced to the moon and back before lunch. Yelling the entire way, “No,I’m first!”.

And of course there would be a herd of mothers following behind yelling “GENTLE”.

 

On a crafty note, I finished the last tile in the boy’s room and they happily hung them up with pride.

I traced their hands on the back and wrote the date.

I drilled a hole in the tree trunk and made a little blue bird in a nest out of paper clay to make it just a little more fun.  I have a feeling the little bird will be plucked from its nest pretty quick despite the turbo glue I used to set in there but I couldn’t resist! Still working on those sweaters!

May 28th, 2011 by zoe No Comments