You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2014.

I cannot believe that tomorrow is May 1. That means in 14 short, short days my biggest will be leaving for London with a home school group for 2 full weeks.  Am I worried – yes. Am I scared -yes.  Is the world full of unknowns? Definitely.  Am I “pushing” her to take this trip. Yes. At some point in time you just cannot let fear and uncertainty control your life. And I’m not letting that fear of the unknown let her change her mind.  Row is a total introvert and shy to boot and I’ve never made her get out there to challenge that. Maybe I should have. But being a shy, introvert myself…… So I know that she wants to go to London and she’s voiced that opinion many, many times over the year (s) , so I’m “pushing” her to go because I know she wants to. I also know she’s the type of person to not do something because she’s worried of going out of her comfort zone.  I know the group is safe and the teacher has taken groups several times before – once to Japan!  I don’t want her to miss this opportunity and then in 6 weeks, 6 months or next year say ” I wish I would have gone…”. I wish I had had this chance when I was her age.

I think those 2 weeks in Great Britain will change my baby – help her to grow her self confidence, her personality.  I think she will learn, grow, explore and come back maybe knowing more of who she is.  I know it’s just a short trip to London, but it’s the longest she’s been away from us – and we from her – and it’s also by far the farthest she’s ever been!

It’s an adventure and I am so super proud of her for taking this leap.

Bright Blessings

(Sorry for the lack of pictures – I can get the pictures from the camera to the computer but then it keeps telling me there’s an error when I try to get them onto the blog)








Last Thursday while Row was in class, Jaia and I managed to visit the store I’ve been wanting to go to for months! It’s called “the Up-cycle Exchange”  and basically they have a pay as you want re-purposed craft item store – I didn’t get any pictures of the store because we were the only 2 in there and I feel odd when I stand around snapping pictures 🙂 – but I did walk away with a few pieces of vintage fabric (vintage fabric is pre-priced)


Cute fabric – and an awesome cigar box I only paid $3.00 for! It is a wooden box too which was a fantastic find since I had just read an article in a recycle craft magazine about up-cycling cigar boxes into memory boxes.  They had a wall of fabric pieces!! None of them were whole pieces though – just remnants from other peoples projects. They had wine bottles, corks, zippers, buttons. Anything you could think of they had. We had fun and will probably head back there again to see what they have.


Close up of the fabric on the left – It’s really a curtain panel but I think I’m going to turn it into a lunch bag or simple handle bag..Or a zipper pouch.  I really just liked the muted colors.

After,  we walked across the street to a cafe  – I had really wanted a coffee and I thought the cafe was a coffee bar type place. But nope –  We ate lunch there instead –

upcycle exchange, thrift store, art studio 002Steak  for Jaia-

upcycle exchange, thrift store, art studio 003Salmon for me. It was delicious!

Next! -Studio time for Jaia – Months ago I had purchased a groupon for J for an art studio called the  South Broadway Art Project. You can take classes there but I mainly wanted open studio hours for us to play. They have clay, painting or sewing.

Jaia has been working on a scarf.

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Basically it’s a strip of denim that they are painting on and then they will hand embroider areas to make them pop. I think I would have preferred J pick the painting or pottery to work on at the studio since I sew at home but she did not 🙂 Oh well! She’s enjoying herself but I think we’ll revisit this option next school year to see if it’s worth the cost.

Today is a “relaxing” day at home – after we hit the fabric store for Rowan’s project, run to the meat market for dinner and run to the grocery store for sides, AND  hit the post office  🙂 Relaxing.

Bright Blessings!

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

DSCN3266Bright Blessings!

As promised – A few pictures from our whirlwind trip to Colorado/Wyoming –







All of the pictures were taken while driving from Boulder to Cheyenne Wyoming.  We didn’t really stop, but took the scenic route because I wanted the girls to see the mountains up close and personal.

We ended up seeing a lot of damage from the September 2013 flood that ravaged the area. I, honestly, had not known of the flood and was saddened to see all of the destruction.


I do hope everyone got to safety.

Have an awesome day! Rain is being called for  here in Missouri so we’ll see!

Bright Blessings!



We are back from our weekend in Colorado and with a days rest to recover from our quick journey, we are ready to bounce back into normal routine. And normal it is! Private dance lessons, riding lessons, barn day, classes and recital practices are all squeezed into the next 4 days.

Our trip was wonderful and too short. Friday we hit Pearl mall and shopped for a bit – I didn’t take too many pictures on Friday, I was concentrating on enjoying the day with my family –

trip ot colorado 008Pearl street was really just a lot of shops – but I love the way it’s a pedestrian only street.  They have the best apothecary shop just off pearl street so I will show you what we grabbed while we were there in another post.

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Trying on fun hats…

This was more of a visiting with friends weekend – we’ll go back when we have more time to do more of the attractions. Friday afternoon we chilled in the hotel rooms for a bit, met some friends for some awesome pizza and salads, hit the Tattered Cover bookstore –

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Best bookstore ever  – huge, roomy, fantastic children’s area (bookstores draw us in – I think we hit 3 that day).

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Lounging –

Saturday we had some wonderful crepes and fruit compotes with the same family and my husband spent several hours training and talking martial arts.

We decided to have a leisurely drive through the mountains since we needed to be in Cheyenne WY by 5 Saturday afternoon. I have tons of mountain pictures on my camera camera –

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We spent Saturday night with my husband’s Dad and wife. We had a wonderful dinner of prime rib, mashed potatoes, bread etc.. … The whole family was there – It was a great experience and totally worth the very short trip to Colorado. Jaia met her grandpa for only the second time ever (she was just a baby the first time) and we just enjoyed ourselves a great deal. There’s talk of another trip in July.

We headed back to the airport Sunday after breakfast and more chatting. It was good for my husband and his dad to see each other.

Tomorrow I need to tell you about the fantastic restaurant at the airport – we sat and had lunch before the very long journey back home.

Bright Blessings –



Millet Crispy treats. That’s what we made yesterday.

Row has been wanting to make rice crispy treats for a while now but we rarely, if ever, buy rice crispies and marshmallows are not a staple in this house either. I had purchased a bag of mallows, though, for our bonfire/smore’s night, and by yesterday we only had a handful left. (methinks children were eating them out of the pantry!). We bought some millet cereal the previous week to try out for breakfasts and  we only had just over  1 cup of the  cereal left also – so I decided to toss them together to see what millet crispies were like!

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I used these millet puffs from whole food.

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Melted about a tablespoon of butter and all the marshmallows I had.

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I added some vanilla and melted all into a big, very unappetizing looking mess of marshmallow goo.

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I think in total I added 1 cup of millet puffs to the amount of marshmallows I had. I had to hurry and press them into the parchment lined pan with a spatula that I wet so the cream wouldn’t stick.

pictures from phone April 2014 017Millet crispies. Everyone in my family really enjoyed these! I was surprised – they ended up chewier than their rice crispie counterparts (it’s a softer cereal anyway)  and with a nuttier taste but we all enjoyed them very much. They didn’t last too long and with in a few hours my small batch was gone.

Next time I will try them with chia seeds – or cinnamon and sugar – or peanut butter? Who knows! They’ve been requested again so now I just need to fine better marshmallows – or make my own 😉

Bright Blessings!

Blah week, that’s all I can say, Blah week. The living room needs painting. The basement needs cleaning, organizing and a new carpet. I would love a new kitchen. I’m trying to arrange my sewing corner so it’s more conducive to actual sewing.  We need to finish with our lessons for the year soon and Row is procrastinating on her history project. Summer camps are quickly coming up and neither girl wants to work them and I would love those 6 weeks of summer to work around my house.  Did you ever hit a point where there is more to be done than time and you are the only one doing anything? Yep – that’s how I feel right now.  Blah. Just feeling sorry for myself I guess 🙂 I need a week or two at home alone –

Now. This week we are taking a quick (I’m talking 3 day) trip to Colorado   – just because 🙂 Row is flying to London soon and her dad wanted her to fly first so she would be familiar with how airports work and such. We leave Friday. Thursday I get to run around dropping children off at classes and dogs of at sitters. Winter goes to a kennel where he is left in a little cell all alone 😦 I really, really dislike this but he’s such a fearful, aggressive little dog (not sure why it seems to be a breed issue) that this is all we really can do. They treat him well there and they are super nice.  He likes 4 people in this world – yes he was socialized as a puppy – more so than any of our other dogs ever.  His wee little brain is wonky. Our older dog goes to my mother’s house.  We have a friend arranged to house sit for us. All is good.

Last week Jaia got new book shelves for her room –


They are just from Target but they are doing the job –


My helper –

DSCN3221Messy, messy  –

Now if Row would just please clean her room so we can get shelves for it! (hint)

DSCN3222We had our first bonfire last week. It kicked off the birthday weekend really. We roasted hot dogs over the fire and made smores! Can’t have a bonfire without smores! (really-it’s in the handbook) 🙂



LOTS going on this week for us – riding lessons, dance lessons, a meeting for Row to be a Jr. member of a horse organization, barn day, classes, packing, errands, making horse armor (yep), packing,  travel – whew!

I found the best instructions for a simple circle skirt!

I wonder if I can fit this in this week???

Bright blessings!


We had a fantastic weekend here at our household. My baby turned 11

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And my Biggest turned 16!

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We had a wonderful family party here on Saturday. Brats, coleslaw, chips and fruit were served all per request of the 11  year old. Row requested spinach artichoke dip and costco was nice enough to provide that for us as well 🙂  I have quite a few wonderful pictures on my actual camera but the cord has gone missing after Jaia carried it upstairs  – There will be a missing cord search today! Hopefully we’ll find it so I can post some of those pictures this week.

The girls got some really nice things. Rowan got a “reading is my superpower” mug and Jaia got a “breyer” barn that my dad recreated from some pictures I had sent him of a vintage barn found in a thrift shop.

april pictures 2014 iphone, birthday, etc 030The barn is soooo cool! He hand painted the wood detail and the brick detail. Sorry for the crappy pic! He made the ladder from toothpicks and the feeders are pvc pipe. He is the coolest grandpa/dad I know!

Sunday we went to Comic Con/Wizard Con where Rowan wanted to go to specifically see Nathan Filllian- the actor who plays Castle. I wanted to go see Nathan Fillian because 2 other Firefly Crew were going to be there  – Adam and Alan – so fantastic!

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We waited 2 hours through two Dr Who panels but it was totally worth the wait. We laughed from the moment these guys walked out on stage.  It was awesome  – I could have sat there for hours watching and laughing! I hope Row enjoyed it.

I finally broke down and texted Row’s riding instructor. For the past couple of weeks Row has refused to go  and has said the disappointment and frustration has been building up.  I feel bad that it’s taken me this long but I finally realized. The trainer’s response? “maybe it’s for the best” and “maybe ………………………………….. can help?”  Maybe I guess Row made the right decision. I was leery up until this response, but in my mind this is telling me that Rowan’s riding was not priority for this instructor. There was no concern voiced, no questions as to how she can help.  She was just teaching Row, not to help her learn more, ride better or gain confidence, but just because.  Nothing was invested in Rowan’s riding skills. Rowan has riding ability and maybe, maybe, trainer it wasn’t Row’s skills (or maybe you think lack there-of)  that were causing the issues but maybe, just maybe, it was teaching style. What works for one doesn’t work for all and as a home schooler I should have seen that long ago.

Such is life and I hope that once we get trainers in place Row’s riding skills can blossom to the fullest extent. I have seen others that have left this trainer and bloomed. I hope it’s the same for my biggest.

Bright Blessings


It’s been raining pretty steadily here for the last day or so, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up today. But that is okay with me – I actually love a good thunderstorm –  really. I am extremely grateful that it’s rain we are receiving this week and not snow! We were up this morning at the crack of dawn to the tune of tornado sirens screaming in the distance.  If you’ve never heard on before, they are simply LOUD sirens meant to warn you that a tornado is possible or one has been spotted . Basically – get to your basement NOW type of scenario – We’ve gone through the routine enough that the girls now get up without question and head to the basement. My husband usually heads to get Jaia, we used to have to carry her down the steps, and I grab Rowan. Row was already up and moving, grabbing her blankets and pillows. Luckily we still have the old futon couch I refuse to get rid of, so the mattress was tossed on the floor and the girls made them selves comfortable.  We weren’t down there for long though before the alert was cancelled and everyone headed back to bed to see if they could catch a few minutes more rest before the day starts. Jaia is still asleep as I type this at 8:00 –

It’s been a pretty laid back week here – thankfully  – sometimes we need that break. This weekend my girlies turn 11 and 16! A fact I cannot seem to wrap my head around – I think I tell everyone – Rowan is going to be 16!!!!!!!!!!! Throws me for  loop each and every time –  We are having a “family” party Saturday;  Sunday we are taking Row to Wizard Con to see “Castle” her favorite tv show/ actor. And next weekend I think the girls are having friends over.  Rowan is super excited about going to see castle and now that she’s 16, she can get her upper ear pierced – well being 16 and having a passport helps –

Some random pictures from this week so far :


Jaia gets the biggest kick out of pretending to go to school. (I know- Right?) So here she is making her lunch to take with her –


Doing “homework” at the kitchen table – Seriously – she gives herself homework.


Working on trying to figure out how to make her “pouffe” for the irish dancing wig. See the wig there?  This is the bane of every irish dancer in the world!

I FINALLY got around to opening up my sewing machine and cleaning out the guts –


There was a ton so smegma from sewing all those horse blankets and stall guards. As much as I like helping people out with repairs I think I need to nix them – It’s killing my machine and I don’t have the funds to buy a heavy duty one that could take the beating. Just an FYI – pants hemming OKAY 🙂 Horse blanket repair not okay –

And last but not least this week – this dinner got a blessing from the dinner pope (my husband)


Chopped salad night – I had bacon, chicken, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, yellow peppers, sprouts and your choice of salad dressings all ready on the table . We could top the salad with our favorite toppings and dressings. I had added some gluten free bread for me and some naan for those that eat gluten and dinner was complete and a success!

DSCN3213Dinner – And it was delicious  .

Rowan is supposed to have a riding lesson tonight but I guess we’ll see how it works since there are more severe weather warnings for later this evening…

Bright Blessings!