You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

So I came down this morning, all ready to write a post, get some pictures up and get back on track when I plugged my camera in.  I had completely forgotten that I needed to install the soft wear!! Then the computer needed to down load all 500+ pictures on my camera. So here I am – an hour after I came down, finally ready to write a post. Goodness.

Anyway.  The weekend was crazy busy.

I got to watch Jaia dance this past Friday. I love watching her. She is coming along so  quickly!  She’s amazing. This was my less that 2 pound baby, and I marvel to see her growing up healthy. I watched her dance for the 2nd time ( they only do observation night every other month) and I saw it click in her.  The jig she was doing was a newer one the class had just learned. Complicated to my untrained Irish Dancing eyes – and I saw it click. The grin on her face told it all! She GOT it!  It was fantastic  – and I did NOT cry. I wanted to – but I didn’t.

This is where my soap making class was held on Saturday morning. Shaw Nature Preserve’s overnite building. It. was. gorgeous. I really could live there. Stone, post and beam construction. Built from materials from the area. Huge fireplace.

I had a fantastic time taking this class. I learned a lot about the soap making process – cold press soap – and finally got to see exactly how much time goes into making all those lovely bars of soap I love to buy.  I knew the process was involved, but you never really understand until you actually SEE the process in action. I would absolutely love to start making soap, except I really need to decide if I REALLY want to make soap. I know – confusing right?  I would have to buy everything to start making soap and with all the other “hobbies”  I have I wonder if it’s worth it right now to start?  I need to decide between soap making  OR about learning herbal remedies, making salves and syrups etc….

Sunday was my nephew’s 2 year birthday party. Cannot believe he’s 2! Jaia is making wrapping paper for his present.

Then she had to blow dry it since it was 1:15 and we needed to leave at 1:30 – Nope, nothing like waiting until the very last minute to do a project right?

Jaia watching the cousin.

We also have friends here through Thursday. Today it’s going to be 63* and they want to go to the mall. The Mall!  What is exactly wrong with their teen and preteen brains that the mall is a better place to go than the zoo in January when it’s going to be 63*??  Let me tell ya – the van may conveniently “break down” next to a park for a couple of hours.

Hope your day is 63* and filled with friendship!

Bright Blessings!



I’m so sorry for not keeping up here the last week or so. My laptop, which has been my primary access to the internet, came down with some nasty virus that wiped it clean!  I am so frustrated. I was actually in the middle of posting earlier in the week when everything disappeared!  Including the pictures that I was going to add.

Please bear with me as I adjust to using the actual computer again 😉 And actually get some pictures here!

I have been busy though – not just lollygagging about waiting. I’ve been busy making things for this Pony Club auction. I did figure out my “emergency” pouch and as soon as I can I’ll post pictures.  It’s more of a square shape pouch with 2 pockets inside.  I’ve added a first aid kit – band aids, wipes etc.. , a sewing kit – thread, needle, scissors, pins, buttons etc.., 2 hair rubber bands, a lint roller and a package of tissues. Which I may or may not keep in there.  It has turned out amazing!  Just a little tweaking for future kits and we’re good to go.   This is actually (maybe) the first pattern I’ve created and I’m quite proud of it!  I’ve also made a necklace and I’m working on a lunch bag.  A pair of pajama pants has been requested so I might try to fit those in. Bit warmers and a nook cosy will round out the bunch.

Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on the picture posting over the weekend!  But we’ll see – Saturday I’m attending a cold press soap making class, Sunday is my nephew’s birthday party – he’s 2!! and then, the girls have friends visiting all week!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Bright Blessings!




Over the weekend we did some pretty lazy things. We stayed at home, cleaned a bit since friends are coming next week for a visit, fixed tile in the bath room since one of the girls pulled a piece of the wall. Yep!   Went shopping for groceries – never really a fun activity but when you go to the warehouse stores they give you free samples. Jaia loves the free samples and it can usually get us in and out of the store with out too much complaining – other than – “we missed a sample!”.

I worked on the “emergency” pouch for the Pony Club auction.  I’m just not sure if I like how this is turning out. I think I’m going to take it with me today when we go to Avalon to get the girls opinions. I don’t know if I really like the tri fold pouch idea or if I should make a series of 3 matching zippered pouches – one containing band-aids etc.., one containing hair accessories and one containing horse necessities.  I think I’ll ask the girls today and get their opinion..

On Friday we went to the Science Center with friends. Just Jaia and I – Row stayed home. Jaia tried to build a bridge.

The girls tried building an arch.  This is big here in St. Louis – the whole Arch theme…

We saw a dinosaur!

We had a blast going with our friends.  I have mixed feelings about our science center though – so many of the exhibits have gone from hands on to computer based and I don’t know about other children, but mine learn better with their hands sometimes.  They do have the walkway with building things but that seems like that’s it. Oh – I take it back – the other hands on things are all activities that cost a fee. Lego Mind Storm and the  Discovery Room (really for the under 6’s).  Except for the lab where you can extract wheat germ DNA.  That is very interesting.

Some one also had her very first swimming lesson ever on Saturday!

Waiting for her turn.

First time on a diving board ever!  She did fantastic!

There was also some thrift store shopping and some Harvest Moon playing..

Totally addicting game!

Have a wonderful Monday!  We’re off to the barn this afternoon after school.

Bright Blessings!


So over the summer, my daughter Rowan joined Pony Club –   She used the money she earned from working  summer camps at Avalon Horse Farm – this was the arrangement we’d made -she wanted to join but I couldn’t justify the amount.  I have two girls and am pretty weird about them feeling equally treated.

AnyWay!  Every year they have a silent auction/trivia night to help raise funds for various activities the girls would want to participate in through Pony Club. Last year I was a participant. This year I’m knee deep in involvement…

Each family is supposed to sell one table’s worth of tickets to bring people to trivia night. That’s 8 to 10 seats a table.  Luckily I have a sister-in-law who love horses and is willing to support her niece. She filled a table for us.. wheww.. My family is a no go. I’m not surprised – but still disappointed non-the-less.   We’re also supposed to solicit for 5 items for the auction.

I hate soliciting. I’m just not the type to go ask for things. Even if it’s for a good cause.  So I decided to make 5 items. The first one I’m making is an “emergency”  kit for horse shows. There’s always something riders need – whether it’s safety pins to pin on their numbers or a rubber band for hair. Not to mention extra buttons, thread and needles for rips and runs.  I would also add band-aids and a few other items the might need at a show.

I started out with an 11 by 7 rectangle.  I want to make this a tri fold wallet type pouch with pockets to hold the necessities.

Two pockets – 7 inches by 8 – when I fold them they’ll be 4 inch pockets.  Don’t worry!  I ironed everything before I sewed it together. It came together fairly quickly once I had my plan down. I added batting in the middle to give it some shape and stiffness. So that it wouldn’t get lost in everything one needs to take to a horse show.  OR anything really. It could be an “emergency” kit for anywhere.

Here’s the pouch all sewn together. It has an elastic band and a button closure. I really like the way this pouch came together – the one thing I noticed though is that when it’s closed, one pocket is upside down  and things might fall out .

Here’s my second go at the pouch. I revised my plans a little.  I put the pockets going in the same direction and added some elastic  to hold items like scissors or what not. I think this will be the pouch I’m going to make . I have some cute horse material in my stash left over from some other project so I think I’ll use that. A quick trip to a fabric store later for the supplies – thread, needles, scissors etc.. and the pouch will be finished.

Picks of the finished pouch in a day or so!

Bright Blessings!



Wow – we went to bed last night knowing there were going to be thunder storms and rain.  I couldn’t wait – I love thunder storms and I especially love laying in bed while they are swirling around outside.

The weather has been fairly mild here in the mid-west.  Very unusual warm weather, with a few bitterly cold days sporadically tossed in here and there.  The early part of last week was warm – 40’s or so. The latter part though, freezing. Cold enough that we had our one snow fall of the year. That was 3 days of cold. Then again it was warm. Perfect severe weather weather.  I had made the comment that very afternoon to another mother – hoping that this strange weather pattern was not going to bring tornadoes. (Last year about this time we had quite a few tornadoes in MO – caused a great amount of damage.  )

Sure enough, we were woken at about 2:30 or so by our 13 year old letting us know that the tornado sirens were going off.   I had been sleeping fitfully and probably would have written the sirens off as a weird dream.

So we hauled our sleeping selves down to the basement. R stripped her bed and took everything down to the futon bed that’s downstairs. J just took her little self – carried by her daddy.  I grabbed my pillows.

I popped back up for flashlights, my purse, the important paper box and of course to pee. And also with strict instructions to grab 2 stuffed pugs , Kaya and  Ruthie..

We were down stairs a total of 20 minutes, maybe a few more, maybe less. After the all clear we trooped back upstairs.  R stayed in the basement – she really does not like bad weather.  20 minutes is just enough to throw off your entire sleeping schedule.

After we’d all gotten back into bed – everyone safe and sound I lay in bed listening to the thunder, the wind whipping through the trees and seeing the lightening flashes through the curtains. As I lay there I send up small blessings – “praying” that everyone is safe and no one is getting hurt with this fierce storm.

Today it’s cold and very windy. We’re all tired and somewhat cranky after our rude awakening early this morning.  And there are no trees down.

On a much happier note. I wanted to thank everyone who’s popping in to see my humble blog. As a new blogger it’s both exciting and intimidating to know that people are actually reading! what I’m writing.  I hope you continue to visit and I hope to continue to write about things that are interesting to everyone.

Thank you for all the kind comments. I enjoy reading them. It makes me feel….. welcome in this blogging world. I’m trying to respond to each one as they come in.

Bright Blessings!


Friday I got to go to a yoga class!  I love yoga – the calmness, breathing and quite really are good for me – especially after a week with my husband traveling and in a different state.  With me being alone with a very strong tempered 8 year old and a 13 year old.  It was bring your friend week and my friend invited me!  At first I really didn’t want to get up and go. The house was so warm and cozy after all – and there was the snow. The whole 1 1/2 inches that we got the day before… The snow that completely threw everyone for a loop. Now really, I’m just using that as an excuse you know…

I really don’t go to yoga class enough. It was wonderful!  Just me, not a mom, but Sarah. Lovely, perfect. I don’t get that very often now that I’ve quit work at the library, and I’m realizing just how very important that is. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my girls and I was a full time stay at home mother when they were much younger,  but mommy time is needed now.  I will definitely have to work that into our school week/Friday schedule..

On my way home I 1 – stopped and got myself a coffee. A real mocha without whipped cream. And I drank it – alone.

I also 2 – stopped at the antique mall we have here. It’s really a building where venders pay per space but I found some great things.  You can either find over priced items but if you look closely enough and deep enough you can find real gems.

I found the perfect bed for J’s 18 inch doll. That’s already been whisked away and it’s tucked into the corner where Kaya and Ruthie have their bedroom. I’ll have to grab a picture of that when J’s not looking.

I also found the best table and chair set – 6 chairs, table and leaves.. Scandinavian style I think the tag said.  That I did not buy. We don’t need it but I sure did like it. We need bookshelves and storage items. So I did the grown up thing and left it.  Maybe I’ll pop in next week and see if it’s still there!

Instead we bought this:

To organize my sewing area. I had re purposed my original shelving for school and art supplies so my crafting stuff was in stacks everywhere.   It’s boring and has no originality but for right now it was cheap and it does it’s job.

Sorry about the mess, the area is a work in progress. The basement is my craft/sewing area, the play area and when needed the martial arts area for my husband. It’s rarely tidy for long. (this I did not buy at the antique mall)

The real find was this:

Fantastic!  Even my 13 year old said  it was a cute bag!  She wants it for a purse though – Me – I’m going to use it for my

Holga!  Which I got for christmas. Fits perfectly in the case and everything. (sorry for the fuzzy pictures, my camera’s accuracy seems to diminish when the batter power goes down)

I know – long, long, post for the camera case but hey! It’s Monday  – what can I say??

Bright Blessings!



I have always wanted to make salves, soaps, herbal remedies and everything in between.  I’ve always had an excuse why I didn’t too.  Costs too much….  I’d have to go out and buy EVERYTHING! Takes too much time.. etc…

So, as I was on my purchasing kick for Yule/christmas, I bought something for me too. I bought the Learning Herbs Herbal Medicine making kit. (I also bought a incense making kit – but that’s another blog post) Everything comes included, beeswax, the herbs – already prepackaged- and some tins. I thought that if I just got a taste of it – found out how easy and fun it is, then I would have no problem starting the process. Yesterday, while the girls were doing school work,  I made my first salve.  Since we school in the kitchen I could both make the salves and be there to help with school work when needed.

Simmering the herbs in Olive oil. Sorry the picture is so blurry!

The oil after simmering for an hour – before I added the beeswax.

The beeswax, before I added it to the pot.

The salve after pouring the mixture into the tins. I made 2 Lavender and two  “calming heat” – which was another essential oil I had in our pantry.  When I find the eucalyptus essential oil I will remelt the remaining salve and add that oil to it.  The eucalyptus really helps my daughter when she has her cold/cough.

I really enjoyed making the salves and now I just need to sit down and figure out which herbs to grow in my garden!

I’m going to slowly gather tins, jars and other pots for the salves, lotions and potions I would like to create.  I would also like to find a local source for the beeswax and herbs.  I also have some fantastic catalogues to order supplies from.

The settles salves.  Total this project maybe took 2 hours. Simmering the herbs took the longest time and I simmered those on the stove on low, low heat for one hour.  I’ve read somewhere that you can simmer them in a small crock pot – letting them simmer at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time – so I may start looking for crock pots when I go hit the thrift stores.

Bright Blessings!

Wednesday we usually spend at “the Barn” – Avalon Horse Farm.  We clean stalls, we feed, the girls get to ride.  Lately though, it seems that my 13 year old is having, I won’t call them problems, but problems with her friends there. They are all home schooled, the older 2 (14 and 16) are out there more often than R.  So they’re together all the time, they ride more together, they mesh. They are very much “best friends” .  Row has always been a part of the “group”, albeit the quiet part of the group..  The problem I see is that they never seem to want to include her or ride with her on the days we’re out there.  Maybe it’s just me being the over protective mom.  Maybe it was just yesterday. ….  I’m probably over sensitive to these things since I was always the one always on the outside growing up. I was always the introvert, shy girl – still am – and so is she.  But she very much wanted to ride with her friends yesterday and they chose not to – they wanted to ride much later in the day – about the time we’re getting ready to leave.  Like I said – I may be projecting here, but she’s my baby and you always want to see the world go right for your children.  She ended up riding by herself.  She told me that she’s feeling like the third wheel, left out.   I’m not sure how to handle this.   Do I wait it out and see if next week is different although I’ve noticed this as a  trend. Maybe not R but I see things as an outsider to the three.  I homeschool so that this would not happen to my girls. I homeschool because I love to be with them. I wanted them to always have friends, to always feel accepted.  And so it pains me to see this going on with R.  So really, I’m at a complete loss as to what to do.  Right now  I’m really *not* liking these other 2 girls.

So this is something I need to sit with. Help her to tell them how she feels. We are both very shy and tend to protect our feelings, and others, by not standing up for ourselves.  grrr! Being a parent is so very, very hard!

I saw these beautiful babies as I was bringing horses in last night..  They kept staring and watching me. I don’t think they could figure out WHY exactly I was taking horses in…  after all .. aren’t ALL animals supposed to stay outside and munch all night long.

Bright Blessings!

Well – I’ve made the goal to get sewing, get exercising, get motivated .. and I’ve done nothing.  Just not motivated to get anything done!  I probably just have to get up and start doing -How do you get motivated? I’ve made my list of ideas… Oh well – I’ll get it done!  It’s my goal for 1012!!

We have been enjoying the extremely odd, warm weather here in Missouri.  I’m kinda worried that one day we’re going to wake up with 4 feet of snow! We’ve had the windows completely opened here several days!

The girls built a fort outside in the yard…

They are bare foot and in short sleeves –

They ate lunch outside that afternoon. Dinner actually. In January. In Missouri. Totally blowing my mind the weather.

Finally got the tree taken down. This takes me the longest time simply because I absolutely do not like taking everything off! Putting on – yes – taking off NO!

If you need something else to do with all those awful plastic bags you get each and every time you go to a store  – they are great for wrapping ornaments up for packing!  Do you ever get THOSE stares when you ask the cashier/bagger to put as much stuff into one bag as it can hold? I had one girl get an ATTITUDE when I asked her to put more stuff in the bag!  I really just don’t need 3 bags for 3 items – really – it’s OKAY  – I can handle it..

More painting has been done.

We had another moon lit ride at Avalon Horse Farms.

Perfect –

Bright Blessings!

Yesterday we ran a lot of errands.  Tons. Well, we had to go to 3 stores, but to a teenager who only wants to read and an 8 year old, that was three too many.  But I did include lunch!

Our last stop of the day was a home schooling art class that our library holds once a month. They did sand art – something about how the Native Americans used sand painting in their ceremonies.  Which, I don’t think, was really explained to the kids. I know J just knows they did sand art. Anyway, pet peeve aside …  She had fun and made 2 cute hanging pictures.

First she sketched out the picture. A horse of course.

Then they put glue in each section – spread it with a pain brush and added colored sand.

It turned out really cute!

This is what my 13 year old does during sand art class. She could have participated, but no – She read. Funny girl.

I always enjoy sitting and watching parents as their children are participating in a class. Some sit on the sidelines and read or play with their phones.  Some hoover and offer advice. Some do everything for their kids – pour the glue – sprinkle the sand – the child just points and nods.  I sat with J and answered questions, offered advice when I thought she needed it. Usually I try to let them figure things out on their own. Sometimes I offer too much advice.  Sometimes I need to be the voice of reason.   – no those colors don’t really work together or no we cannot buy every strand of beads you want,  no – you really cannot use 10 pieces of water color paper just to scribble! or even  – those beads, fabric, etc will just not WORK together  –    yes some things just won’t work out or fit together or even “go” together.  Sometimes I need to step back and enjoy.

Bright Blessings