getting ready for the Montessori school year!

Step-by-Step for Washing Hands

I've been busy the past few days getting ready for the Montessori preschool school year to begin.  We've been adding to and changing up some of our materials at the school and some of my contributions were making some new step-by-step hand washing cards that will be posted by the sink in the classroom.  Zoey had fun posing for the photos for this project.

Yoga Cards

Also, for one of our works (if you aren't familiar with Montessori all of the materials in the school are divided into "works" for the child) we have yoga cards and they were getting really ratty and old looking so I had Zoey pose again and these were the result.  She had fun and I got some new, nice looking materials for the classroom!!  On the reverse side of the yoga cards there is a short little verse regarding the pose that we read to the children while they are practicing their moves.

Yoga Cards

The one above is The Swan and here is what it reads:

I am a swan floating on a lake.

I arch my back to show my long neck.
My arms and legs are straight.
My hands are down.

To make the tail and wing feathers,
I bend my knees and touch my head to my toes.

Right now I am taking a break from writing all the students names on apples that we will hang in the entryway of the school.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy all this preparation!  :)  Preschool rocks!
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today was a mama + zoey day...


we posed for silly photos and giggling was a big part of the agenda...


we enjoyed a tea party outside...


we danced and played and sunned ourselves in the late, warm August sun...


we checked in on things that needed tending to...


we each had some alone time for reading...


we set up the tent just for fun...


and built a fairy house together in the yard.



It was one of those days that when I tucked her in her bed at night I just felt as though everything was right in the world, in our little world...and that felt good. Sometimes it's good just to go with the natural flow of things and see what happens.

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Cocoa Daisy's September Kit : Printer's Drawer

for sure...

I love, love, love, LOVE this month's kit, Printer's Drawer so very much...I know I say that every month but, well...Cocoa Daisy kits are just up my alley I guess! Christine puts to much time and care into each kit every month and you can totally tell she loves what she does because she is so darn good at it!

Loving Leo

fun with Bailey

I love everything about this month's kit, the only thing that perhaps has it beat are the add-ons! :) Enjoy!

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Blessings to my Grandmother

She passed away today while at home with family at her side. Thank you to my Aunt Sharon and to my mother who both spent the last two years or so taking care of her so that she could be with family and at home until the end. That is a pretty incredible gift and an even more amazing sacrifice. She led such an amazing and full life and I shared with Ethan today that out of everyone in my life up to this point, my grandmother has shared with me the most wisdom on how to be a woman, daughter, sister, wife, and mother. How it never means giving up who it is that you are at your very core...that those roles do not define you. She was the strongest and most capable being I have ever known with an amazing sense of character that shown through in everything that she did and every relationship that she had. She never shared her wisdom with obvious intent, it was always shown in action and in how it was that she lived her life. Thank you grandma...I will hold your memories, stories and wisdom close to my heart and take care of them with the most fiercest of care and will be sure to pass them on to my own children and grandchildren. You have truly been a blessing in my life.


Woman Work by Maya Angelou

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

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since I now have the shoes...

I'll be more tempted to use them (I'm hoping?).  I ordered these suckers way back in early June thinking that I'd have them to wear while getting back in shape this summer and I just got them yesterday!  I think I got five different back-order notices from Road Runner Sports regarding this pair of shoes!  Finally they are here and I've already been out running twice with them and while I can't say I enjoyed the wait, they were perhaps worth the wait.  They are super light, flexible, perfect for uneven trail walking and running and super comfortable.  And I love that they are orange.  :) Here's to having no more excuses for getting back into shape!

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PB + J Banana Roll-Ups

PB + J Banana Roll-Ups

We've been experimenting here with lunches lately and I know the bananas won't keep for a school lunch but it would be a perfect and easy after school snack.  Zoey's given it the A-Okay for approval too!  I was thinking this would also be yummy using Nutella and a banana instead of the PB + J.

PB + J Banana Roll-Ups

Ingredients: whole wheat tortillas, peanut butter, jelly or jam and one banana

Spread the peanut butter and jelly on the tortilla and place your peeled banana on one end of the tortilla and roll up the tortilla.
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apple crisp



Made my first apple crisp of the season on Sunday...once the weather starts getting cooler my head and heart start thinking wistful thoughts of my favorite season, Fall. That means Fall baking and hikes in the woods, trips to the orchards and pumpkin patches. I can't wait! Until then though, here is my early celebratory baking project.

Apple Crisp

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used 1/4)

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm.

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back 2 school recipes

Turkey and Spinach Sandwich Roll-Ups

We've been trying out some new easy and fun lunches for possible new takes on the PB + J cold lunches that Zoey seems to love during the school year. This one was a success, and I think it was in part that she got to help make it! All I know is that I'm happy to have something else to pack in her lunch box this school year.

Turkey and Spinach Sandwich Roll-Ups

Ingredients: whole wheat tortillas, low fat cream cheese or hummus, turkey, spinach, shredded carrots

Spread the cream cheese or hummus on the tortilla and layer with the turkey, spinach and shredded carrots. Starting on one end, roll up the the tortilla and then slice into little circles. Refrigerate until cold and pack in insulated lunch box with ice pack or serve right away!



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Homemade Play Dough


Because I truly believe you can never be too old to play with it...we made some today and Zoey created with it (and I have to admit that I did too) for quite a while this afternoon in-between taking bike rides and playing with Leo. Here is the recipe that I used today...

Homemade Play Dough

1 cup flour
4 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. cream of tarter
5 tsp. cooking oil
1 cup water
food coloring of choice

(I doubled my batch and got two nice sized balls of dough and added my food coloring AFTER it was done cooking.)

Heat all ingredients over medium heat. Stir constantly until the dough clings to the spoon and forms a ball which completely cleans the pan. Knead when cool. Can be enjoyed immediately. Will store in the refrigerator for months in a plastic covered container. Note: When cooking I thought I botched my batch and almost quit and made a new batch, DON'T quit! It's supposed look runny and clumpy for a bit before it all solidifies...keep stirring over the medium heat until it's all formed.




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because i couldn't not post them...




oh how she loves this dog!

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my little sister...

Sparklers with Auntie Bailey

Sparklers with Auntie Bailey

Sparklers with Auntie Bailey

Sparklers with Auntie Bailey

My little sister came to visit last weekend. I think it was the first time that she visited us all by herself and spent time with just myself and Zoey. I had so much fun, we all did. We spent one evening away at a hotel and took off for some shopping the next day. We spent the day thrifting at some fun little shops (where Bailey scored a new pair of turquoise Converse tennis shoes from was her late birthday gift) and enjoyed a lunch together out on the town. We also hit up some art supply stores and some book stores. We came home to a dinner of homemade lasagna (Ethan's contribution to the weekend) and ended up eating outside as a family and finishing the evening off with some sparklers. :) It's safe to say that Zoey is in awe of her Auntie Bailey too...I have a feeling the two of them will have some fun together when I become the "old" mama who doesn't seem as cool anymore! It was so nice to just spend time getting to know my little sister as an "older" little sister! She is so grown up and I love the person that she is and is becoming! Family is so awesome! I know I've been blessed with mine.

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Happiness is...

raspberries and blackberries from our yard

discovering that there are raspberry and blackberry bushes all over in our new backyard! :)

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we love leo!


He has truly made our home a different place.  Warm, welcoming and fun! We each have our own nickname for him.  Zoey calls him cutie beauty, Ethan has dubbed him King Leo and I call him Lee Lee. He answers to all of them.  He has made his way into all of our hearts and will stay there forever.  He's adjusted to his "new" people and we have adjusted to having a bit bigger family quite wonderfully.  He has now officially survived his first girly-girl sleepover so has passed the test for this place with flying colors...he is pretty tuckered out though.  Supervising little girls throwing popcorn up into the air and (trying to) catch it in their mouths is exhausting work you know!

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