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Showing posts from July, 2011

Savoring Summer Saturdays {D.E.A.R.}

In my sons' school there is a part of their day designated for D.E.A.R.  ~  Drop Everything And Read.  Hearing about this program brought back good memories of silent reading time I enjoyed in elementary school.  One teacher even had a cardboard house in the back of the room where we could take turns reading.  It was heavenly to be so cozy in school, to have time to sit by the window, watch the snowflakes flit down and escape into my book. Ruth Chew  is the first author I remember by name as my absolute favorite.  I still recall the hope I held inside as I wandered through the small school library, praying there would be a new Chew book I had not yet read.  Eventually I discovered the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal and read through every  one, dreaming of being just like the "good girl" Elizabeth someday. Anyway, I love this idea of dropping everything and reading.  We are over half-way through the summer (and  the year!) and I have not yet read half t

Still In Our Bed {5 minute friday}

J oining with The Gypsy Mama over at (in)courage today for a five minute    un -edited free write about the topic of her choice:     still...   There you are, still in our bed.   Our littlest boy, too big for a crib,  too small for a bed of your own.   We still love to snuggle in beside you.    No, I reassure my husband, he will not be still in our bed when he is fifteen.   I am sure of that, yet I know it is time for him to move out,  to move in with his big brothers.   I need more sleep, less interrupted sleep, fewer fingers groping my face and fewer feet in my husband's nose. Still, there you are.   Our baby, our boy.   The one nursling I was able to bring into my bed now the last one I want to leave. So much energy you have expelled all day long,  strange to see you suddenly   lying still,  arms and leg reaching out to find your missing mom. I'm still here.  Behind the camera. Watching you sleep.  Wishing you could stay this age always. Still...  

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real {visiting my sister}

PRETTY~ pink hydrangeas make me happy.  HAPPY~ My husband and I were able to leave the boys with their aunt and uncle so we could go out for dinner and spend the night in a fancy hotel!  This is the moment we made our escape and we were happy ! FUNNY~  Wine anyone?  My sister and I had a little shopping afternoon together and couldn't resist photographing this ridiculous wine glass.  It cost $140.00 too! (Isn't she pretty?  Love you sis!) REAL~  In this heat and humidity my sister's neighborhood pool was truly the best place to be.  We had it all to ourselves!

Philadelphia Freedom Tour Part 2 {Elfreth's Alley}

  Come along with me for a trip back in time.     Let's stroll down the oldest residential street in America.       People still live here.   They are packed into row houses that are loaded with history and quaint detail.       I wonder - who was Elfreth?       The day we visited there was an open house at #130.     We went inside. The house is four stories and literally consists of one room above another.     This is the Master Suite at the very top. I could reach overhead and touch the ceiling. There were no doors to the stairs. That is truly a drop off!        No handrails either.  Not exactly child-safe.      This narrow space is the dining room! Here is the Zillow rental info if your interest is piqued.        RW age nine.         ZJ age eight.     KC age three.      The real history of this place was in the basement.         The smell of damp dirt filled the humid stone space. How many stores of food were kept here over the years? Did families huddle here during terrib

A Prayer For The Powerful

    While walking through downtown Charlotte, NC I spotted this quotation engraved at the entrance to the city courthouse. A sufficient prayer for mothers, fathers, judges and all government leaders, don't you think?

Home Away From Home

My sister's dish of glass berries with my real jam in the background. We have just spent the weekend with my sister and her husband at their most comfortable and comforting home.  Today we hit the road again to return to our home, suntanned and satisfied with the joy-filled time spent together.  Living near family is a new development in our lives and it is marvelous!  (And that is considering a six hour drive  to be living nearby.)    date (over)night with my husband built in (free) babysitters handstands in the pool colored pencil sketches on the patio nearly being lost on my morning walk funky Mass music fro yo  time alone with  my sister shopping in girly shops Unc and his nephews playing Wii leftovers thunderstorms at midnight getting my sister on Pinterest too children who adore their Auntie and Unc an Auntie and Unc who adore their nephews Counting Blessings with Ann

Savoring Summer Saturdays {naps}

  Not just for babies or little ones,  naps are for grown ups too. They are free and easy to assemble. Find a soft place. A chair, a sofa, a bed or even a bed of grass beneath a shady tree.  Close tired eyes. Sink. Notice the play of sunlight and shadow behind your lids.  Let the world  slow down around  you. Rest. Doze. You are allowed to snore. No one is watching. Naps restore  the soul. For a few minutes or more you can be the little one held in the arms of a warm  summer  afternoon.

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real {Lancaster County}

PRETTY ~ Sunflowers from the flower market bringing a burst of sunshine to our table. HAPPY~  Three boys posing with the ticket taker of a real steam train.  The ride took us out through the farmlands near Strasburg, Pennsylvania. FUNNY~  Seeing real Amish people and their carriages in the middle of an intersection. REAL~  The juxtaposition of life in Lancaster County: horses and Harleys. Joining a day late at Like Mother, Like Daughter

My Reading Buddy

It is rare that I have one son all to myself but the past two weekends I made it a point to take one at a time with me for a getaway from home.  ZJ and I headed straight for our favorite hangout - Barnes and Noble.  As I stood in line at the cafe, (he wanted a spinach artichoke strata!) I turned to see him in this reading pose.  Our stacks of "to look through" books were equally high, our eagerness to find just the right story the same.  I couldn't resist sneaking this photo, a memory of my reading buddy and me .  This one moment in time, capturing our shared love of words, books and bookstores.     

When You Need Peace

Multitudes on Mondays {Mass On Vacation}

  I used to dislike having to take time out of our vacations to find a local church where we could attend Mass while away from home.  O ver time I have come to love this practice .   Being part of a local church community takes you from tourist to temporary town member.  As Catholics we are able to slide seamlessly into the worship.  We know those prayers, those songs, when to sit, stand and kneel.   It's comforting knowing all this and comforting knowing that our friends back home are hearing the same Bible readings too.  Yet we are treated to a different homily, from a different priest.  His style may be utterly engaging (or not) , his voice marked by his Irish brogue or southern drawl, his stories a product of his own unique life experiences.  This is a mini-vacation-education all its own.   Attending church out of town also lets you sit inside some of the most beautiful, little known churches residing all over our country.  Your children see that people everywhere go to c

Savoring Summer Saturdays {Mango Bellinis)

  Usually, Bellinis are made with peach puree and Prosecco, a dry Italian sparkling white wine.  I mixed things up a bit by using freshly pureed mangoes and Cava , a dry white sparkling wine from Spain.  First, cut up one mango and place into your blender or bullet blitzer.  Pour mango juice (or just use water and a dash of sugar) covering the fruit by about an inch.  Blend until totally smooth and combined.  Drop a spoonful of this orangey goodness into the bottom of a glamorous champagne flute. Next, pour Cava into the glass ever-so-slowly as it will foam and overflow in an instant. Allow the bubbles to settle and continue adding wine until the glass is full and the puree has mixed around a bit. Cheers! For more Savoring Summer Saturdays: Arnold Palmers Tinto de Verano Frozen Chocolate Milk Iced Coffee  Gladly linking with:  Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now Seasonal Saturday @ la bella vita Nifty Thrifty Sunday Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wra

7 Quick Takes {July}

      The numbers below correspond to the numbers in the upper left corner of each photo. 1.   I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with my dear friend at Panera for coffee talk.  Their new soup - Lemon Chicken Orzo - has had me daydreaming of either going back soon or better yet, trying to replicate the recipe at home.  2.   Knee-high by the 4th of July?  This corn field in Pennsylvania was more like shoulder high.  Nothing says summer to me like wide-open spaces loaded with corn crops.  Can't wait for the sweet corn on the cob my son ZJ loves so much. 3.  My iPhone.  When I sat down for coffee with my friend I said (with a twinkle in my eye), "I have a new baby."  She looked shocked until I revealed my new phone .  In full disclosure, I used to scoff at the idea of having a "smart phone" but I am a complete convert to the club .  It. is. simply. amazing.  By the end of lunch she was determined to get one too!   Here are my favorite apps by far:

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real {backyard edition}

PRETTY~ I see the moon and the moon sees me!  Lately I have been enjoying going for a walk while the kids are getting ready for bed (supervised by my husband of course) at twilight.  I am catching up on these wonderful podcasts while I walk. You cannot imagine how many hunting spiders I see scurrying off the sidewalk as I come along.  It is so fun to see beautiful yards lit up with spotlights and I admit that I love to look through open windows and see families gathered around the TV or table.  These strolls have become a form of meditation for me. HAPPY~ We have taken a "staycatio n " this week.  We didn't even leave the house Monday or Tuesday.  On Wednesday the boys each invited their best friends over to play.  ZJ and his buddy both want to be authors someday so they began their latest stories using the quill and parchment set we found in Philidelphia.  KC also began his writing career at the kitchen island. FUNNY~  After shelling and eating peanuts on t