Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Garden Tour 2007

Here we are, just returned from Garden Tour 2007. This is a pic of myself, my momma, and my sissy.
Garden tour is normally a tradition that my mom enjoys with two of her close girlfriends, but this year since sissy was in town we went together. We spent about 4 hours walking through 3 historic homes in our city and touring a total of 4 amazing gardens.
I had hopes that my gal pal K. would go with us, but she wasn't able to and left me with instructions to TAKE PICTURES! :) Needless to say I was very disappointed when I learned that the tour does not allow cameras to photograph the inside of the homes, but they did allow cameras in the gardens. It was a lovely day, and we had a wonderful time.

The garden club placed fresh flower arrangements inside each of the homes. They covered almost every available surface, and included flowers found in gardens at that time. Lilac, azalea, alyssum, candy tuft, tulips, and even honeysuckle were just a few of the flowers included. I have to say that as much as I enjoyed the homes with their antique furniture, fine art, and collections from around the world, still the gardens were my favorite. I wanted to share a few of my favorites..

I loved this small sitting area that was beside the last home we toured. The centerpiece is an old VA mill grindstone with a statue in the center. It is surrounded by purple pansies, candy tuft, and other various shades of blue and purple. The tulips along the borders were not ready to come up yet, but I am sure when they do it will be lovely. The homeowner also had cobalt blue pottery around the side area of the yard with coordinated flowers inside. The effect was peaceful and serene, and this wasn't even the main garden!

This is one of my new favorite flowers. It is called a parrot tulip, and comes in a variety of colors. Many of the indoor arrangments included these fluffy looking fellas, and I may have to brave back into the world of bulbs to aquire a few for my own garden!

This Japenese maple tree marks the top of a custom made water feature that was designed and commissioned by the owners of the third stop on the tour. The man made creek bed was filled with pebbles, no black pastic here, and began at the far right of the yard, running the length of the home over varying levels with several curves and ending in a lovely Koi pond next to a small sitting area. The sound was amazing, and we were very surprised to learn that the entire thing was only 2 years old!

Because this homeowner did not open their home to the tour, the garden club made these whimsical topiary fish to "swim" along the edge of the waterfeature. At first glance, they just seem to be droopy and bulky flower arrangements, but very quickly your mind adjusts and you realize that it is, indeed, a Koi! How cool is that!?!

I have loaded all of my garden pics to flikr, and you can click on the flikrbadge on the right to see them all if you wish.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

We are all Hokies

I find myself more profoundly affected by the events at VT than I would have reckoned I'd be.

After hearing the news, I found myself burdened with prayer that evening, and have shed so many tears. Like many others around me, it was when they began showing the faces of the victims that my mind first began grasping the magnitude of what happened. My Lord, I know that if my heart is so heavy, Yours is even more so.

Several years ago, my husband and I lost his youngest brother and one of my best friends, who was a senior in college at the time without warning and without explanation. He wasn't gunned down, he simply felt ill and faint of breath and then a few hours later, crashed in the ER and went to be with our Lord. I remember the shock, and then the chaos that ensued as we made arrangements, took phone calls, and tried to sleep. What surprised me was that the hardest part of the whole thing came the day after the funeral. All the friends and visitors who had come in to honor his memory had left, and it was just us in the family. We were seated at a local buffet, and I glanced at the empty chair across from me, and it hit me ~ that was his chair ~ and his chair was empty. I was in the bathroom at Ryan's for about 20 minutes trying to pull myself together. Trying to redefine what will be 'normal' without the loved one that you lost turned out to be the greatest test of the strength of my heart. The Lord truly saw us through those tough times, and now the pain is less.

I will continue to pray for the families of all of those who fell on Monday. I believe that the Lord will turn this tragedy, something that the devil himself intended for harm and destruction, into something that will be unto the glory of His kingdom. At my young brother-in-law's funeral, a young man made the decision to turn his heart to the Lord, something that big D would have thought was totally cool, for he loved the Lord with all of his heart. As memorial services are planned and funerals are arranged, I pray that those who do not yet know the saving grace of our heavenly father will come to the realization that His love is greater, and stronger, and more necessary than the very air that we breathe.

Father, be a comfort to them. Let Your love saturate the VT families and be their fortress of strength, their high tower, their refuge and their strength.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My X Bag

I finally got it done! I am so very excited that I am not really sure what to do....
...load it up and use it of course!
This is my second "X Bag". The first I made for my secret sister at work for the reveal gift. I did that one in paisley and polka dot fabric in shades of milky coffee, pink, and cream.
While at the quilt shop, I bought this fabric combo to make a second one for myself, but because I waited until the night before the party to make my ss's bag, my fabric got put up until I could find the time.
It only took about 4 1/2 hours to do.
The bag is big without being bulky, and has 4 compartments inside thanks to the unique design of the pattern.
I plan on spending tonight watching "Serenity" from Netflix (by the way, if you like sci-fi comedic adventure movies, check this one out it is one of my favorite pics) stuffing my red wallet and transferring my purse-snikity items to my new goodie bag.
This is actually a step in my fly lady organizational lifestyle changes. My purse is a hot spot for me, I haven't seen my glasses in about a month, I think my blackhole of a purse ate them.
By the way, every lady should have a nice that SHE likes and can really use. It doesn't have to be expensive - this one cost $8 for the pattern (which I will reuse again), and about $20 for the fabric. So, a challenge to any mom who uses a diaper bag as a handbag, or who hasn't gotten a new bag in over a year, invest in one you like and smile;)

Project Spectrum #1

I had my camera out today and wanted to take a picture to catch up on my project spectrum item for the first few months. The colors were black, white, and gray. I had some friendly flowers on my kitchen table and snapped this picture.

I find it quite calming.....

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fly Baby!

Thank you Mrs. Wilt and Fly Lady!

My gal pal K. loaned me the Fly Lady book as I am in desperate need of help decluttering and managing my home and I have finally started! Thankfully, the Lord has opened the opportunity for me to take on a ministry position in our church that will allow me to work from home during the week and giving me the time to be the wife, mom, and homemaker that I know He wants me to be!

Now, my gal pal K. is a fantastic homemaker! She is very organized without being obsessive, and she has, herself, put the Fly Lady's theories into practice. Whenever my little guy and I go over for a play date, her home is peaceful and calm, uncluttered and homey. Granted, she is quite the organized person by nature (I should know, teaching along side of her I gleaned so many helpful skills to help me manage and order my own classroom!), but I have seen her happily tackle cluttered areas of her own home with such great success that I had to try her system.

Enter, the Fly Lady.

Honestly, I have only just started, but her methods have actually given me hope that I can not only clean my home, but keep it that way! Behold, I have begun! Of course, I am keeping a clean kitchen sink, but I am also working on the hot spots and cluttered and stress-inducing areas of my home. I began with my kitchen, as it is where I spend most of my time. I really wish I had taken a before picture to share. Here is the after!

I purchased a few space-saving cereal containers, and locking lid containers, along with a few baskets for my cooking stuff to add storage height that I needed and voila! Now I can see everything, get to everything, and most importantly, it doesn't drive me crazy!

The second area I tackled was under my kitchen sink. Behind the dishwasher liquid on the left is my cleaning caddy with all of my various supplies. This is so much more organized and easy to keep neat.

Hopefully, I will be able to tackle a few more tough spots over the next couple of stop,

DD's closet!


I wanted to share a pic of our proud little "soccer gamer" as he calls himself!
DD started soccer about two weeks ago, and we are totally loving it! Of course, the ball had to be orange, it IS his favorite color! Surprisingly, finding all of the equipment he needed was a slight chore because we had to go to an actual soccer store ~ didn't know they had those, did ya;) ~ to get his shin guards and cleats because he needed such small sizes. You can't tell it, but his shorts are safety pinned 'cause he my guy is so small that a YXS is too big for him, even at 4, LOL!
Primary soccer is a lot like I would imagine watching a herd of ADHD coyotes chasing a rabid bunny in the rain would appear. There is a lot of running around in packs ~ following the general direction of the target, but with a lot of falling down, bumping into each other, hoping up, stopping mid-stride to pick a weed or eat some grass and a general passing interest various bugs in your eyesight. It is great ~ no score is taken, and we all cheer no matter who gets the goal! Yup! Tons of fun to watch! And most importantly, DD LOVES it!
It has been so much fun seeing him begin to grasp the whole team concept. I never thought I would have to explain it to him, but it took him a few games and a couple of conversations with mum and dad for him to realize what a coach is. For the first two games, he kept running off the field in the middle of the practice or the game and asking me to show him how to dribble, or pass, or shoot because, "I don't know how to, mommy". After dad and I explained to him that a coach is like a teacher, he realized that he could ask his coach and has enjoyed himself much more ever since! It really helps that we have a wonderful coach. He is very patient with the kids, and his wife, mom, and dad all help out with the team! What a great example for the kids! It was such an answered prayer for us that he got such a wonderful coach! Thank you, Lord.