Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lights, Plastic, Action

I dream of having a greenhouse. A big beautiful one made from old wooden frame windows of various shapes, sizes and colors. Perfectly placed in the yard with plants growing all around. Sadly that's not happening anytime soon, but thanks to a mysterious Home Depot gift card and a little saving, Annie and I made a small indoor greenhouse in the basement. It's not nearly as picturesque as the one in my head, but it will grow plants (I think).

Take two folding tables
Wrap in electric blanket and plastic drop clothes, and suspend lights.
Make sure to keep three year old away from hammer,
Test everything out, fill trays, and

It will take two weeks to find out how it's going, but I researched everything pretty randomly and pulled my info together to create the monstrosity that is now taking up 1/4 of my basement. Even down to the cheapest heating source for the table (I.E. the electric blanket we found on sale at Sears). Surprisingly this whole project has really helped me cope with the reality that spring is still pretty far off. I now have so much to plant before spring, I'm simply not ready.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Road Trip

I had all day off work today to spend with Annie. The choices were... Stay home and clean, do laundry while avoiding the mess in my living room, or leave. We choose leave. Annie and I packed our bags for day of driving and hit the road. It was cold but totally worth it.

Step one: get snuggled up in the car for the ride
Step two: Drive to our first destination. Which happens to be a garden store called Worms Way out on North Warson. Annie had fun collecting the flowers that fell to the ground. We were half way through the store when Annie looks up and yelps (they have rubber bats hanging from the ceiling all over the store). After explaining to Annie that they were rubber she tell me, "I thought I was going to die mama."

Step three: Back in the car to drive some more. Next stop is Helen's Hen House. Annie is over joyed to see that the store is full of beautiful hand felted eggs, and plays with them the whole time I am shopping.
I buy a pile of beautiful wool felt and off we go. Annie gets a little to cozy in the back seat, and before I know it she's asleep. Our final destination is a restaurant in Grafton Il. The building used to house Elsah's Landing. A restaurant that my mother at some point in time had purchased my two favorite cook books from. It has since changed owner's and names, but they still make a few items from Elsah's cookbook.

Annie was really tired when we got there, but she perked up at the thought of food.After eating we drove around the little town of Elsah. Annie thought everything was "so cute and tiny." We got out and walked in the freezing cold, but it was well worth it. Annie and I found a great garden that I'm sure looks amazing in the summer. We were able to harvested a few seeds from some of the plants I recognized. We also found this very strange truck and a book store/ barber shop.

Annie is very excited to go back in the spring, and so am I. We had a fun road trip with no meltdowns and Banjo behaved himself at home.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just think she's too cute for words.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Need summer now

Do you remember about a week ago, when the weather let up, we saw the sun for about 20 minutes and you could go outside without a coat? Well that's all that's getting me through all this gloom, the knowledge that the sun will return. This morning when the sun appeared for all of 5 minutes I stopped what I was doing and made Annie sit in the window with me. I want sunshine, summer clothes, and being outside in the garden. I can hardly wait. I even bought more bulb's to plant out in the yard and if the ground weren't frozen I'd probably be out there right now with a flashlight digging. My neighbors have learned to laugh at my late night gardening. I wonder what they would think if I started winter gardening as well.

Ice Skating

Thanks to the amazing Debbie Holley, who reads the paper and reports back to us with exciting things going on around town, we got to take the girls ice skating for FREE! Annie has been asking me to take her for a while now. Ever since watching some barbie movie about ice skating princesses (thank you Barbie), it has been more like non stop begging. At one point there were tears and lots of kicking, it wasn't pretty.
Annie Loved it, but I was a little nervous. Is it wise to give a kid who kicks blades for her feet? A few times I thought I was going to get it, but she surprisingly kept her feet to her self. I think I got hit a couple times, but nothing bad. The ice skating definitely tired her out, and oddly enough she hasn't asked me about it once since I took her. I'm enjoying the silence.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Banjo and Annie

Annie's first day with Banjo.

Here is Banjo resisting the urge to eat a very tempting dried worm that Annie found on the ground and named Mr. Snake.

Reading with Annie.

For some reason they look like an old married couple to me in this photo.

This is how they sleep at night.

Yes, I think he really is giving her a hug.

I know I am biased, but I really believe Banjo is the best dog ever. He might not fetch, or sit, or listen at all, but he loves Annie no matter what she does to him. I have personally seen her torture him on numerous occasions, and yet he still adores her. I know a lot of people thought I was nuts to get a dog, but I am so glad that I did, and I am so grateful that God had the perfect dog ready and waiting. He is so good with Annie at times I wonder if I'm imagining it. He never leaves her side.
He's even willing to undergo massive humiliation just for her.

Mud croquet

I have to admit the second the snow was gone I got a little excited about being outside. I've tried to find games that would entice Annie to go outside with me. Including this wildly fun game of mud croquet. She liked it a lot until she slid in the mud and landed on her butt. No picture were aloud of that, and I got scolded for laughing.

girls go wild

Annie had a brilliant Idea today (after she had a melt down at church). She thought we should take the chickens for a walk. After explaining to her that we couldn't really take them for a walk down the street, but that we could let them out in the yard, she started getting ready. First came the Helmet. I'm not sure why, but she said she needed it. Then came the chicken boots. Now ready, we left Banjo in the house and went to play (sorry Banjo).

The girls were happy to eat the grass by the door, but weren't venturing very far.

Annie was more than eager to show them the way out. Ushering them away from the door to freedom.

They didn't really catch on.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I want her to sleep like this all night.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

ZZZzzzzzzz needed

My sleep has been disrupted to the point I'm not sure I should be allowed to drive. Annie has developed a new sleep schedule that involves waking me for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. I foolishly didn't think it was effecting me that much until I put the garbage down the laundry shoot and the dirty socks in the trash can. I tried napping but it doesn't seem to be working. I just wake up more tired than when I went to sleep.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kittens and Yoga

As part of my long standing battle for sanity I have started back at Yoga. It has been a bitter sweet reunion. So has figuring out when I can go, and what to do with Annie while I'm there. I've been fighting to at least make it to the Monday night class every week.
Tonight while I was at yoga, Annie got to go to her Pat's house. Annie loves going there. Why you ask? Give my daughter two hyper kittens, a bin full of Polly pockets and couple teenagers to hang out with and you will never get her to leave.
She was fast asleep as soon as we pulled out the driveway. What I loved is that while sleeping she's chanting over and over again. "I like the Grey kitty, I like both kitties."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Annie first Snow Day!

I know I haven't been posting lately, but this should more than make up for it. This took me ALL day yesterday (minus the time I spent baking, sledding, and napping)

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I'm not really sure how many hours this actually took me, but it's somewhere upwards of 50+ hours. I will most likely not be attempting this again any time soon. At least the result is a super soft feather pillow that will hopefully last FOREVER. Just to warn everyone if Annie ends up allergic to feathers I may cry (for a very long time). This project consumed me for the two weeks before Christmas until today. I am so glad it's done. Sorry for lack of posting, but I was dequilling feathers.

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