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Jaia was a bit antsy yesterday. Both of our play dates had fallen through this week  – one because of illness and one because – well –  LIFE tends to throw things at you and likes to play havoc with our plans – and sometimes you can’t change that.

SO yesterday, after school work had been finished and with mere hours to go before we had to be home to do errands/chores of our own – Jaia and I went for a walk.  We went to a walking trail literally on the side of the road 🙂 The display sign told us that the property had  – once a upon a time, been a dairy farm that had been abandoned, house fell into disrepair- then torn down etc..Property then deeded to the city of…  It’s a short 1/2 mile loop. Just enough.

Picking honeysuckle.

“Eating” honeysuckle.

Pond with walkway. It was filled with turtles! a few ducks and geese and 4 small baby geese.

Climbing.

Exploring.

A new friend.

It was lovely and quiet. Just what *I* needed.

Bright Blessings

 

 

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Jaia’s been taking irish dancing classes now for about 7 months. When you think about dance class, you think about the school being in it’s own building, in a strip mall or other small buildings. Nope, not her current school. Well for the time being anyway – it will be moving to it’s new place soon. Right now it’s in a former mall. Over the years this mall has fallen on hard times. Slowly, slowly stores have been leaving until the only 3 major stores left were Macy’s (but empty- they were still paying for their lease apparently) and the Gap. (funny right?) the Gap abandoned ship about a year ago. Oh – currently Sears is still there but on it’s last push – everything is 70% off – it will be closed in weeks.

So rather than abandon the mall and leave it empty right away, the owners decided to create an “Art Space”. Shops were leased out at a relatively reasonable fee – I’m talking $300- $500 a month – to entrepreneurs who would like to dabble in commerce.  There were a lot of new dance studios, some paint your own pottery places, a homeschool school, antique stores, there’s a front for a costuming business, a anime store, a gaming store – just tons of  places that would not have normally gotten off their feet. This was started 3 -4 years ago.

Several months ago – the owners got word that Macy’s was leaving, the mall was now loosing money and the small businesses would have to leave. A lot of the stores have found new locations, some won’t reopen at all.

Last night while Jaia was dancing, I walked the length of the mall again for what might possibly be the last time.  I was never a mall person (well maybe, when Rowan was a baby and we needed to get “out”!), and this mall was never my mall of choice – but I DO remember coming as a teen and shopping here. They had a disney store that was fun to go in a browse in.  The food court and arcade area down stairs where my then boyfriend and I would eat and play.  And the movie theater –

I’m still not a mall person today – there are a few stores IN malls I frequent, but I don’t go wander now just because – and we have way too many here in St. Louis – so it’s probably not a bad thing that this mall is finally closing it’s doors. BUT it will be odd. Nostalgia is kicking in 🙂

The stores are completely empty now. It was very odd walking around last night.

I’m not sure what they will do now with the empty mall. I’m assuming that they will tear it down and put yet another shopping center/commons type area up. Yes – because we don’t have enough Targets or Kohl’s in our area! ( can you hear the sarcasm?) If they do do this them maybe, maybe they’ll put something useful there – like Ikea. What would be the best possible choice? Green space. Walking trails, play grounds etc.. That would be lovely.  I guess we’ll just wait and see. And if they do tear it down. I’ll just have to come take a look.

On another note. Jaia had a riding lesson on Monday and we had to take the pony all the way out to the back pasture, on the back of the pick-up truck.  –

Bright Blessings!

Last week, while Jaia was feeling punky and was supposed to be relaxing and laying around, I finished her dance bag. I’m not 100% happy with it but Jaia is and that’s what counts, right?

I’m not liking the zipper I added – it’s just not “polished” enough but I guess that will come with practice, since I rarely ever insert zippers into things.  The handle could be better – I  have it alternating sides so Jaia can carry her bag across her shoulders on one hip. It’s a simple rectangle bag! Fits soft shoes and socks wonderfully!

Saturday we went to a horse show. Rowan didn’t show Jonah in it – I think she wanted to get more of an idea of what the shows entailed.  But waiting until your comfortable is a good thing!  Also Jumping is not her favorite thing and a lot of the classes were jumping.  I didn’t get any pictures of the show itself – we were drawn into helping with the gate and passing out ribbons. I did however meet this awesome guy –

19 hand Clydesdale at this particular barn for rehabilitation. A hand is the way “they” measure horses – it’s about 4 inches.  So this guy is 76 inches tall at the shoulder  – or roughly just over 6 feet tall.  Very, Very sweet guy.

On the drive home we saw this :

Can you see it? Crop dusting helicopter!  I’ve never even heard of such a thing.  I had to stop and take a few pictures. It would swoop, spray, stop spraying and the turn the copter and spray in the other direction. I’m assuming it was spraying some sort of nasty pesticide since we’ve had some nice rain the past few weeks here. I am not a pesticide fan and I’m a believer in organic farming, but I was just amazed that this spraying was done with a helicopter!  Then, of course, there was much speculation (by me)  on how much money they would actually be SAVING if they weren’t spraying chemicals on their crops with a helicopter! The cost of the helicopter itself must be astronomical!

Sunday was actually spent doing nothing Earth Day related at all. Jaia and I and some friends went to the American Girl doll store opening here in St. Louis. It was a lot of fun! I’ve never done anything like that before – Arrived at the mall at 9:00 to get a number for our place in line for the 11:00 store opening. Whew – 2 hours wandering around a closed mall killing time.

Waiting in the store opening line – we were in group number 1 –

 

Jaia is in the green dress. She brought both of her dolls – Kaya and Ruthie. She’s been saving her birthday money for weeks and ended up buying  Kaya’s horse.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend!  It’s Monday so we’re off to the barn – Row won’t have a lesson  today since her trainer  is out of town. We may actually get home a a reasonable time!

Bright Blessings!

Yesterday I started making a dance bag for Jaia. For months now, she’s been carrying her stuff in what ever bag catches her fancy each night. I’m surprised we haven’t LOST anything yet!  Well – a pair of socks DOES seem to have gone missing! Oh well – we’ll find them.

I’m making another freezer paper stencil design – the same one I put on her t-shirt for her birthday. That way we’ll have no doubt which bag holds her shoes and socks!

Tracing out the pattern.

Ironing it onto the fabric. The schools colors are pink, black and grey so luckily I had pink paisley in my stash.

During the painting process.

After painting and peeling the freezer paper off. Today hopefully, I’ll get around to sewing it ! I hope to have it complete by Friday but today and tomorrow are pretty busy, so we’ll see.

We’re off to the barn today, but Jaia is feeling punky so hopefully I can leave her home with my husband. It means she’ll be watching more television than I would normally allow – but sometimes watching t.v. is the only thing you can do when you’re feeling yucky!

Bright Blessings!

 

We’ve been crazy busy here the past week – Pretty much since the first of April. Lots and Lots of birthdays but not a lot of pictures to show for it. Play dates, homeschooling classes and busy-ness.  I think we’ve been at home one whole afternoon in all this time! whew. Today we’re home – our visiting plans have gotten cancelled, and I have to say that although I am disappointed – Jaia is definitely so –  we get an afternoon at home!  I have laundry to fold, a few projects to start and yeah!! we get to go to the library! Goodness. This might be the rejuvenation we need to continue going non-stop the next couple of weeks.

Our young friend Loved his elf tunic/costume. Albeit after some grumbling that it was too long! And some reassurances that -yes, it was supposed to be longer than his hips!  He loved it and he ran around the zoo for hours in it.

Bright Blessings!

 

We are not religious here in our house hold. We do not practice any one religion. Oh, we hold the earth and all beings living on her and in her to be sacred (well I do at least). But we don’t go to church or practice mainstream faiths. Each year though, we go “celebrate” easter. For us though, it’s more of a welcoming back of spring. An acknowledgement that plant, veggies, fruits are beginning to come to life.  That the cold darkness of winter is FINALLY over and that the long, warm, golden days of spring and summer are returning.

We ended up spending the morning at my SIL’s house – where we had a lovely home made breakfast – biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage etc…  Jaia hunted easter eggs in the back yard – Rowan is now “too big”  to hunt..  Or is she?

The afternoon was spent at my mothers – A more traditional dinner – ham was eaten, asparagus, bread, sweet potatoes etc..  was eaten. She’s catholic. At least nothing was preached.

The girls, along with their cousings ( one 2, one almost 2) hunted easter eggs in the back yard. Well, maybe Rowan won’t claim to have hunted herself, but more helped her cousin.

It ended up being a lovely afternoon.

This week is the birthday party for a young friend of ours. He is going to be 10! When his mom and I met – he was 3 , Jaia was 2, Rowan was 7 etc.. It’s amazing to see these kids growing up.   Well, last week he approached me and asked if I could make him an elf costume for his birthday party this Thursday. Santa elf? I wondered – nope, more woodland elf. So I said maybe and promptly forgot about it since I had 2 girls parties and easter to worry about! Monday I woke up remembering@!!  So Tuesday morning we made a dash to the fabric store and this is what I created in about 4 hours. I do hope it was what he wanted!!

The pants are just a flannel pajama pant pattern – I just made it shorter and didn’t hem anything!  Fairy’s don’t care about proper hemming do they? And the top is a simple t-style tunic with a t cut in the top for his head. I ended up adding pieces of flannel to each point where the cut ended so that he didn’t pull and rip the tunic wide open. I really hope he likes it. After HIS zoo party I may grab it back and hem the legs and sleeves and fix the neckline.

I guess a lot of people don’t get that we can’t just “whip something up in and hour or two” , that it takes more time than that.  If I had had more time, if I hadn’t had 2 birthdays of my own or easter or barn work or, or, or, I probably would have taken more time with the neck line. But – oh well.  I hope he likes it.

It’s Wednesday so we’re off to the barn again!

Bright Blessings

Well,  Birthdays are past now.  Jaia’s birthday we spent at the zoo.  It was overcast and seemed to threaten rain continuously. And it was cold. Okay- well colder than it has been. Had to dig out sweaters! But the girls had a fantastic time and I would do it again in a heart beat!

We saw prarie dogs, camels, gorillas, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, penguins, bears and so many other fantastic creatures.

I’d forgotton it was holy Thursday – So a lot of the schools were closed and the zoo was packed!  I usually avoid our zoo when during school breaks because it’s a free zoo and everyone goes!  (we really have a cool zoo) . But it wasn’t as bad as it could have been – I think the overcast sky kept a lot of people from coming.

These gorgeous big cats are some of my favorites – but the section of the zoo is NOT my favorite. Their cages have not undergone renovations yet (I AM hoping they’re on the list at some point and time) and these gorgeous animals are pacing in areas much too small for them.  I think these cages date back to the 1904 World’s Fair.

After the zoo we grabbed pizza and then hit the mall for Rowan. The girls wanted to go hat shopping but alas! No cool, cheap hats were to be found anywhere! So they all ended up at Build a Bear where they spent their life savings on stuffing animals (not really:)..

A couple of dogs, a bear and a rabbit were adopted.

Home for cake and ice-cream then  – peace!

Rowan’s birthday ended up being a lot more laid back. The visiting girls had to leave fairly early for a dr’s appointment, so breakfast was quickly made. Presents were opened and cake eaten. All before 11:00!

This is what Rowan woke up to Friday morning.  A Goddess doll with Epona and a rowan tree. (Jaia’s had a unicorn on it.)

After the friends left, my girls and I headed to the tack shop so Row could get some things she’s been wanting for a while. Horse shampoo, leg wraps etc.. Don’t ask me what all it’s for!

Rowan decorated her cake 🙂 minutes after they all fell over!

Sushi was had for dinner in celebration of a 9 year old and a 14 year old! A quiet evening and whew!!! We survived another birthday bash. Well 2.

Today we’re off to the barn where we will be celebrating again –

Gooey Butter Cake!! This is the first time I’ve made this – I looks and smells delicious! I hope it’s a hit.

Bright Blessings –

 

 

 

Sorry about the color of the pics here! I guess that’s what happens when you’re baking cake at 10:00 at night 🙂

Cupcakes in the oven – I tried a new recipe this time but we’ll see how it goes over. I am NOT a good cake maker for all of my following directions!

Icing – butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and a bit of cream cheese.

 

We’re off to the zoo today – if the weather changes and the sun comes out that is!  Then we’re off to the mall for Rowan’s 1/2 of the celebration!

Bright Blessings!

And 2 party bags are finished!  They didn’t take long really – about 10 to 15 minutes each to sew together.

Jaia has filled them with goodies –

Salt water taffy (yep the same brand that we had at Valentines day!), a chocolate/caramel bar, a small flower pot with seeds and in the parchment sack are gummy beans. I wanted something cuter than plastic baggies so –  – parchment paper sacks it is. They were so easy too,  a rectangle with a flap and I just sewed up the sides. The flap folds down. Easy Peasy. And cute too. And free since I had the parchment paper already.  Their  (Jaia and her friend)  last “party favor” is a ring making kit that they can work on together.

For Rowan and her friend, I found a cool “message in a bottle” necklace making kit so they can leave a message for each other in their necklaces.

The t-shirt turned out fantastic! If I do say so myself. I snuck downstairs to my work area after Jaia finally fell asleep last night  – Almost 10:00 that one! She was listening to a book on CD –

Before

After.

I cannot wait to give it to her! I think she’ll love it!

Busy day for us today. Breakfast with Grandma, barn day, dinner, cake baking and friends arriving. I predict a late , late night for all..

Bright Blessings!

There’s birthday creating going on here!

Rowan and Jaia’s birthdays are right around the corner and I’m trying to squeeze in the small amount of sewing and crafting I need to do  when Jaia’s not around.  Since she’s only having one friend come and sleep over, I decided to make the gift bags out of fabric.

She specified POLKA DOT fabric! – Not pink or black or something else…  So when I walked into the fabric store and saw this cute yellow I nabbed it right away!

All cut out and ready to sew together. These won’t take too long and really, they’re not too much of a secret. These goody bags will be filled with treats and yummies – and maybe a small pot and seeds too..

But!   It’s this project that I’m keeping hidden!

Jaia loves irish dancing – so I thought I’d make her a quick freezer paper stencil t-shirt 🙂 –

 

 

I just did a google search for irish dancing silhouettes   –  this was one of the first and easier ones to trace and cut out. I can’t wait to give it to her!

Tonight I paint it in secret …

Rowan and her friend will be making their own t-shirts as their “goody bag” – We love this activity. I think it’s as much about the process of finding a picture, or creating a picture, cutting it out and ironing it on – as the painting of the shirt.  Rowan can spend literally hours copying and tracing pictures of horses to make them JUST RIGHT to go on her shirts. Love it!

Off to sew!

Bright Blessings!