Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mason & Hamlin


Mason & Hamlin

Our piano-less home now has a piano again... Douglas has a beautiful black Kawai grand piano that he bought in his single days, but it resides at his studio. I've missed hearing him play when he's at home. We found this FREE 1922 Mason & Hamlin upright piano on Craigslist in a town nearby, just the brand and year that Douglas wanted (he was looking for pre-1929, when the company merged with Aeolian and subsequently went down in quality). Isn't God good? We're getting it tuned later this week. I can't wait to start up the home concerts again!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

And we're off!


homeschool
[first day of school]

Just like that, we started our "official" homeschooling at the beginning of the month. I'm doing three subjects with Edmund right now -- Bible, reading/phonics, and math/numbers. For Bible, we read a chapter each day, work on memorizing one verse each week, and learn a new hymn or psalm each month (Lavinia does this with us and enjoys it, too). For reading, I am using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" and reading various books aloud, as time permits (right now we are on "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, having already finished the first two books in the series earlier in the year). I haven't quite gotten my act together for math yet (planning to order a workbook at some point), but I've had him do some counting and sorting activities and practice writing numbers.

He thinks it is all simply wonderful.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Purple bunting

Purple bunting

I made this bunting out of purple fabric scraps as a decoration for Lavinia's birthday last May. I just now got around to hanging it up in her bedroom (we switched rooms with her and Rosie this summer), along with a few other wall decorations. Her toddler reaction when she saw her room: "This is amazing!!" A good reminder to me, don't waste time feeling bad that my kids' bedrooms aren't Pinterest-perfect... just decorate them with a mother's love and they will be so happy.

To make the bunting, I cut out fourteen triangles (two of each fabric that I had) and backed them with a similar color. Sewed right sides together, clipped and turned right side out, then edge-stitched. I centered the triangles, tucked the raw edges up inside the (pre-made) bias tape and sewed it shut -- easy peasy!

That lavender eyelet in the foreground of the picture is left over from the birthday dress my mom made for me when I turned six.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Day at the Museum


A Day at the Museum

There's something for everyone at the museum.

A Day at the Museum

A cozy, old-fashioned quilt on an iron bed...

A Day at the Museum

I always notice a pretty teapot....

A Day at the Museum

Lavinia loves the little playhouse. Here she is enjoying some "grapes" at table...

A Day at the Museum

...and tucking the dolly into bed after reading her a story.

A Day at the Museum

A Day at the Museum

An apple tree for Edmund to climb, and outdoor swings and games to "give him energy," as he says.

A Day at the Museum

Even Rosie enjoyed the outing.

A Day at the Museum

Next time, we'll come back with a picnic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Around the house


bookshelves

Is summer the universal time to work on house projects? We've been more productive since the weather has turned warmer. Douglas recently finished up building two handsome wooden bookcases for our living room. When we were first married, we bought some cheap shelves from Target, but they basically fell apart after five years of use and three moves. I'm so happy to have space for all our books now! With these bookcases, plus the built-in bookcases in our mantel, there's room for everything, and it helps give the living room a library-ish atmosphere.

When I visit other people's houses, I like to (not-so-surreptitiously) check out their books, if they're in a public area, that is. :) It's fun to see if we've read any of the same books or share the same loves. Anyone else do that?

Douglas and I spent the afternoon of my birthday prepping our bedroom to move into later that night. We've been working on fixing up that room -- priming, painting, pulling up carpet, new cellular blinds, installing quarter round. It's looking SO much better, although it still needs some decorative touches before it really becomes our sanctuary.

Now the girls will eventually end up in the bedroom that Douglas and I just evacuated. It has a built-in wooden vanity with lots of drawers and two cupboards, which works well for their small wardrobes. The first thing I did to beautify their room was to line their drawers with Crabtree & Evelyn drawer liners left over from my unmarried days... a rose print for Rosamund's drawers and a lavender print for Lavinia's drawers. Perfectly serendipitous! I'm still working on sorting through clothes, organizing and purging, and the girls' room has been my base of operations for all this. It's been a huge job, but oh, how I'm looking forward to having that off my mind!

drawer liners

drawer liners

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!


Fourth of July 2014

Last night, the big boys had tank wars.

Fourth of July 2014

This morning, the kids rode in a parade at the park.

Fourth of July 2014

Then back to Grandma's for a picnic lunch.

Fourth of July 2014

I think Lavinia's meal consisted solely of a corn dog and strawberries.

Fourth of July 2014

Grandma has made this flag cake just about every Fourth of July since she was given the recipe, sometime in the '80s.

Fourth of July 2014

Happy Fourth of July from all of us (including Douglas, not pictured)!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blue summer sundress


blue sundress

Well, I knew as soon as I publicly stated that I wasn't doing any sewing at this time, I'd get a chance to drag out my machine. :) I have done a few simple projects in the past few weeks. This little dress for Lavinia started as a new-with-tags maternity top at the thrift store. It was one of those things that I looked at and thought, "I could easily repurpose this by taking in the side seam and shortening the straps!" Of course, when I got home and examined it, it turned out a little more complex than that. I had to straighten the hem (not realizing that, as a maternity top, the front was longer than the back), take in the sides, cut off some of the elastic shirring at the top, and shorten the straps. The straps were already attached with buttons on one side, to allow for lengthening or shortening as needed, so I decided to keep that feature in the back. I'm not sure if we'll ever need to lengthen the straps, but if Lavinia mostly grows in height rather than width, she could probably wear it as a summer top for a few years yet.

blue sundress

This disheveled little lady spent a day enjoying the pleasures of summer -- playing with her brother, napping, and popsicle treats all took a toll on her pigtails, clean face, and ironed dress. But it's proof positive that she's enjoying summer to the max, and that's OK in my book! :)