Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Tale of Two Cabinets--Part One

Once upon a time, there was a LARGE Brown Cabinet. It was so large that its owners were quite bewildered regarding Where To Put It and What It Should Contain, so it sat quietly on its long wall in the neglected North Room-called-the-Sunroom, and it faithfully held the printer and papers and videocassettes and dvds, and it bravely shielded the bouncy balls that rested far beneath its underside, while providing home and a peaceful refuge for dustbunnies and spiders.

Over time this Cabinet gained some friends. There were the File Cabinet and the Book Bin that lived to its right, and the Stack of Unused Things in Boxes that lived to its left, and then later it also had tenants--the Stack of Vintage Suitcases--which moved in on top of the Cabinet. It was not so lonely now, but it and all its companions felt very, very neglected.

One day the Lady of the Manor decided that this room, which had once looked like this:
Needed to turn into a different kind of room--a sunny sitting room--with a little green round table in its nook.

This would be a room to inspire creativity. . .but the Lady needed a place to keep all of her Bits and Bobbles for Creative Purposes. . .

She thought about the Large Brown Cabinet.

She smiled. She sighed. She talked to the Man of the Manor. (She talked to him a LOT!) She sighed some more.

She set to work.
She moved the New Big Dining Table.
She moved the Little Green Loveseat.
She moved the printer, the paper, the dvds and books and folders and the Stack of Vintage Suitcases.
Then, she and the Man and their Two Lovely Strong Daughters MOVED that Large Brown Cabinet--moved it RIGHT into the Sunny Sitting Room. . .
and the Cabinet smiled. It sighed. It opened its arms up wide and just HUGGED all those Bits and Bobbles for Creative Purposes. . . .
The Lady just kept on putting more and more Bobbles into the Cabinet's wide open spaces, and she filled it right up.


The Cabinet smiled. It didn't feel neglected anymore.
It felt NEEDED.
It had a warm glow in its middle--and it was SO FULL of lovely things to make MORE lovely things, it could hardly contain itself for joy!


The Lady--who is quite the collector of Things--put some pretty, yet useful, Things on TOP of the Cabinet where the Stack of Vintage Suitcases had been. The Cabinet felt so STYLISH!


The Cabinet is very, very happy in its new home. It can see the birds outside on the porch. It can see the Sun come up in the morning. It gets to listen to the Lady and her Lovely Daughters and Daring Son as they chatter through their daily activities. It gets to be USED--in lovely, creative ways.

The Large Brown Cabinet just can't stop SMILING.
The Lady of the Manor is pretty happy too.

love,
~april

Linking to:




and Organizing Mission Monday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Tea Party in a Day

or, "How to make your kids crazy in one afternoon while having TONS of fun and counting it as a school project."
:)
See why I chose the FIRST title?
Dear Laura(at Decor to Adore--I found her site while researching thatched cottages for homeschool--so glad I did!) is having this WONDERFUL, tempting, joy-and-giggle-inducing, girly-stuff, swoon-worthy blog party for her series on the upcoming Royal Wedding(I never knew there was so much to know about the British monarchy!). It was tempting to join. Then I got sick. Then I began feeling guilty about not doing enough school work with the kids(see note about being sick). THEN we began studying Great Britain's checkered relationship with India. . .the Crystal Palace. . . .Queen Victoria . . .TEA.
:)

I saw the inlet to allow me to steal some time for joining a FUN party. The challenge was, I had really not planned ahead for this one.

SOOO, Tuesday evening I sketched out my "ideal" plan. . .
Wednesday we got the oldest child settled into her class online, picked up the toys from my "rosy room"(YES! Finally!) and the other three and I headed out to the local grocer(s). It was going to be a DAY.

Home again we made pizzas for lunch(C had been sweet to make the dough while we were out), cleaned the kitchen, and began our attack. . .

Here are the results of our shop, cook, mix, and bake-a-thon Wednesday afternoon. We actually had "tea" in place(and time)of dinner!!!!! I hope you enjoy just this tiny peek into our "school project". My Redhead now knows how to make ALL of the things we had to eat--I'll call that a good lesson, and next time SHE wants a tea party(which will be soon, I do not doubt), SHE can DO IT HERSELF(oh, how many years have I been hearing this little girl say that?)!!!

Lest I ramble more, and scare you away before you've had a single scone, I'll leave you with a quote:
"Come along inside. . .we'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."
from The Wind in the Willows


Here you go. Enjoy!








Linking to Laura's fun High Tea Tablescapes over at Decor to Adore!

"Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting,
Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do,
My friend there's always time for you."
-author unknown


with love and friendship,
~april


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Whatever Happened to Winter, Anyway?


WOW! Spring, for all intents and purposes, appears to have ARRIVED here in the swampy lands! I never paid much attention to the old groundhog, but it seems he was correct this year! Soon, THESE will be up!

I have been DOWN for a week, basically, with some sort of ickiness. It's hard to describe, but my ENERGY was so gone that I would look at something that needed, badly, to be done and just SIGH.
Then I'd sit down and stare off into somewhere. This is significant because 1. I never sit, and 2. I never sit without at least READING. I was so tired, though, that I didn't even want to READ.
That was Thursday thru Saturday, which day I spent practically in bed ALL DAY. I began to feel better Sunday, much better on Monday, and today I am bouncing off the walls--even doing odd necessary-but-normally-avoidable things like mailing in the letter to the state for our homeschool registration!

This morning and thru the day today I've been watching BIRDS again!!!! We have the customary brilliant red cardinals, but along with them are the BLUE birds(oh, I love those) scouting out my little house, and the juncos arrived this morning, flitting thru the crepe myrtles and into my SFG boxes--ahem, I hope they don't like radish seeds, as we planted those YESTERDAY! :) Maybe they were just eating sugar ants and the nasty icky centipedes!

We did have a busy start to the week last week, as we had co-op and Valentine's Day on Monday, Speech Club Tuesday, and a visit with friends on Wednesday. Thursday I stayed in bed all day, Friday the kids went to the park and I sat in the van while I watched them play . . . Saturday in bed again. . .oh, I am repeating myself!

Here are pictures from co-op. The girls did card making, an appropriate craft for Valentine's Day!
The Redhead picking a pretty paper.

C, J, and the Redhead working alongside one another. :)
One of J's projects.

The boys did woodworking. They built TOOLBOXES!
Holding his tongue just right!
He is SO proud of that toolbox!

I want to show you my Valentine's Day gift--first, you need to *imagine the basket* it goes in(I hope you have a good imagination!).
Maybe something like this:

or this would be nice:

Anyway, it goes in a BASKET --in my mind(that's what he told me, honest!).
Here is the filling:

Dark chili pepper chocolate, YUMMYYUMMYYUMMY PJ's coffee, magnetic mega clips(can never have too many of those! lol!), and a bucket of multi-size binder clips(again, too many is a near impossibility!)
Got to love a man who coddles my love of office supplies. :) And coffee.
And isn't it a BEAUTIFUL gift basket? ;)

I took the afternoon OFF for Valentine's Day. Spent the whole day READING(come to think of it I was probably already not feeling really well, because I just don't DO that! Here's the stack that covered my bed:
My favorite of all these was the one you see open--written by Molly Wizenburg, A Homemade Life. I love the WAY she writes about food and family and the experience of it all. I've said before in my blogging: food is just WHAT WE DO in my family. . . I think she understands that. It's a really good read. Funny, sad, amusing, and DELICIOUS. Wow. NOT for those on Weight Watchers! :)

Another book I'm particularly excited about(please remember that I am a recovering English major AND a homeschooling mama!). . .

OH. My. GOODNESS. What a gem.
I am so excited to begin this with my kids. I think it will be FUN. Revolutionary. HELPFUL.
In short, I think it just might work! yippeee!!!!
(Did I mention anything about bouncing off walls today?)

So, that's the update. . . from the warming swamps in dunlap-land. What have YOU been up to?
Leave a lovely comment and let me know!
:)
LOVE!
~april


Friday, February 18, 2011

Pretty Sure. . . .

rolling along in the mini van today, it occurred to me that we were LIKELY the ONLY family for miles around listening(and singing along) with this:

Songs from Redwall

Fun stuff. I would call it silly, but it's the kind of silliness you just have to take seriously!
~april

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ACTUAL Conversation



In my house today:

C: Mom, I have aphids on my oxalis.
Me: I'm sorry. (pause) You know, there ARE ladybugs in my bathroom.
C: Oh, yeah! Great!

Are we weird? :)

The ladybugs "let themselves in" every winter. We catch, release, warn them, tell them to PLEEEASE! go away, but they STAY.

Today feels like spring. Happy day to you!

~april

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flowers from Long Ago

Warm greetings from COLD South Louisiana!


Since it has been cold and just plain nasty here this week, and I wanted to participate in Liz'sFresh-Cut Friday party, I decided to revisit some floral pictures I took a couple of years ago. I hesitated to do this because the quality of cell-phone shots is low, but I think they are pretty anyway. You can at least see the bright interplay of colors, which is refreshing on a blAH, gray, rainy day!



This is a tablescape I did for a ladies' weekend luncheon at our former church. It had a decidedly "springy" theme since the weekend is always held right around the first day of Spring.
I used my vintage milk glass, several cast-iron bird feeders, a few of my mini glass cases, and the huge hurricane vase from my previous tablescape post. Chocolate eggs, fresh flowers--tulips, spray roses, and a potted lily--river stones and blue glass "scatters" completed the setting.

I wish the pictures were clearer and more of them were up-close. Sorry about that!


Oh, and C helped me make these cute "look at the birds of the air" napkin rings:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

That's a pretty good reminder for a day like today, too. He who takes care of the birds EVEN takes care of us--and we are "much more valuable than they" to Him!

Enjoy, wherever you happen to be. I hope you are warm and cozy!



~april