Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Afternoon Sewing Lessons

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Emily has been working on some embroidery. She is doing a great job with little stitches and spaces. She has chosen to do a large heart with a smaller one in the middle. We will show you the finished masterpiece later this week!

Grace finished her doll patchwork quilt this afternoon. She used a soft pink flannel for the background so her doll, Nettie will be nice and warm.

I am working on a project also, but it is for my sister and she reads my blog. :0)

In other news around here we have discovered a new bird at our feeder. I thought I heard something different up in the tree this morning. It is a House Wren and he is very handsome. We hope he sticks around!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Blueberry Muffins

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Blueberry Muffins

Makes 8 large or 12 medium muffins

3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 12 compartment muffin tin.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat together the egg, milk and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients swiftly, sitrring and folding rather than beating, and stopping as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter should be lumpty, not smooth. Stir blueberries into the batter at the last minute.

3. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full. (If you prefer bigger muffins, fill the cups almost to the top. Pour 1/4 cup water into those cups left empty.) Bake 20-30 mintues, or unitl the muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of them comes out clean. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nature Journaling

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I want to share with you our nature notebooks and hopefully inspire you to start your own. No matter what age you are, whether you live in the country or city, or your drawing ability you can have alot of fun recording your favorite things from nature.

Here are some basic supplies:

-A clipboard

-Drawing or Watercolor paper. If you just plan on using a pencil, drawing paper will be fine. If you plan on using watercolor pencils get a pad of watercolor paper. A pad is around $5.00 but lasts a long time. After you draw your picture, wet a paint brush slightly and go over your drawing. This is especially popular with children and they seem to work harder on their picture if they know at the end you will give them a paintbrush!

-Watercolor pencils

-Brushes (small, thin brushes work best)


Notebook. You can get one with built in pages (like a spiral notebook) but it can be frustrating to children if they make a mistake or just don’t like their picture. This can happen to adults too!! For my children I got plastic sheet protectors that I place in a 3 ring binder. Once they are happy with their picture they can slip it in to the protectors.

For my journal I use one meant for scrapbooking. Sometimes I will cut my completed picture out and glue it on a “base” piece of paper and slip it in the page protector. That way I can have several little pictures all on one page without them slipping all over the place.

Optional, but handy supplies:
-Magnifying glass
-Butterfly net
-Fish net
-Brown paper bags
-Camera (sometimes if you are out exploring you can’t stop and draw right at that moment. Take a camera along and draw from the pictures you take, later at home.

Many times, starring at a white piece of paper will cause your mind to go blank. To get started, in an upper corner, record the following:

Time - “early afternoon”, “late morning” or exact time
Wind direction - draw a simple compass
Clouds - what they look like
What you hear

What should I draw?

-Take a walk and collect leaves. Press or draw them in your nature notebook. Jot down date, name and where you found them.
-Sketch a tree in your yard and label the parts.
-Hunt for poetry, scriptures and hymns about trees. Copy it into your notebook.
-Record the date when the first leaves start to fall. Also, when you see the first buds.

-Each week take a walk to see what is blooming in your neighborhood. Be sure to check out your own yard too!
-Sketch and label flower parts.
-Hunt for flower poetry, scriptures and hymns about trees. Copy it into your notebook.

-Go to any area that birds gather and observe them.
-Don’t forget to feed any birds that stay around your home.
-Look for bird feathers. Be sure to note where you found it, what kind of bird and the date.
-Hunt for bird poetry, scriptures or hymns. Copy it into your notebook.

-Hunt for insect homes. Look under rocks, fallen logs, bark of trees, under leaves, corners of your home!
-Go to a pond to collect water insects.
-Look for different butterflies and bees.

-Plan a special trip to the zoo.
-Do you have a special pet you could draw?
-Find out what wild animals live in your area. Can you hear (or smell!) them at night. Look up pictures and copy them into your notebook.

-Experiment with seeds....planting, germination, growth rate and so on.
-Collect wildflower seeds

-Keep a chart of the moon phases for a month. Record what you see in your notebook.
-Take an evening to spend stargazing.
-Watch a sunset and then draw it.

-Keep a weather chart. Write down date, temperature, weather, etc.

-If you collect anything nature related draw them in your notebook. Rocks, shells, feathers, etc.

In Sarah Ban Breahnach’s book, “Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions” she suggests enjoying the Victorian custom of bringing the four seasons indoors. A small, permanant table in a room that reflects, through the objects we choose to display on it, from our adventures outdoors. Your children can display treasures they discover, such as pretty stones, a bird’s feather, pinecones, twigs, acorns. So many possibilities!

Here are a few pages from my nature notebook:

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace's work...

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Emily's pages...

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Book Recommendations:

“Wild Days - Creatiing Discovery Journals” by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe
“Hands-on-Nature” by Jenepher Lingelbach
“Keeping a Nature Journal” by Clare Leslie and Charles Roth
“Handbook of Nature Study” by Anna Botsford Comstock
“Pocketful of Pinecones” by Karen Andreola

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

If we give our children regular opportunities to get in touch with God's creation, a habit is formed which will be a source of delight throughout their lives.
-Karen Andreola

Changeless Truth in a Changing World

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

May 1923: "Doing up cut fingers, kissing hurt places, and singing bedtime songs are small things by themselves; but they will inculcate a love for home and family that will last through life and help to keep America a land of homes.

Putting up the school lunch for the children or cooking a good meal for the family may seem very insignificant tasks as compared with giving a lecture, writing a book, or doing other things that have a larger audience; but I doubt very much if, in the ultimate reckoning they will count for as much...It belittles us to think of our daily tasks as small things, and if we continue to do so, it will in time make us small. It will narrow our horizon and make of our work just drudgery.

There are so many little things that are really very great, and when we learn to look beyond the insignificant-appearing acts themselves to their far-reaching consequences, we will 'despise not the day of small things.' We will feel an added dignity and poise from the fact that our everyday round of duties is as important as any other part of the work of the world.

And just as a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women's work at home, while only the doing of little things, is like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens all the fabric of civilization."

-Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Ozarks

Grace's Horse Quilt

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Here are some pictures of Grace's lap quilt she picked up at the thrift store for $3.00! She likes to keep it folded on the end of her bed with all her dolls lined up on it. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
-Wooden Skewers (broken in half for smaller glasses)
-Sparkling water (I used Perrier)
-Mint (optional)

Put three blackberries on wooden skewers and freeze an hour. Place skewer in glass. Fill halfway with lemonade, then top off with sparkling water. Add a mint leaf and enjoy!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Caring for your feathered friends in the summer

What happens when you get a Mockingbird, Bluejay and Squirrel all at your feeder at once? Drama, drama drama!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I have always enjoyed putting out seed for the birds in the fall and winter but usually close down the restaurant once spring arrives. I was cleaning last week and noticed a little birdseed in the bottom of the bag so instead of throwing it out I filled up the feeder once more. I also found a bag of unsalted whole peanuts. I wasn't expecting any visiters but within 20 minutes we had Sparrows, Mourning Doves, a male and female Cardinal, a Bluejay, and a Squirrel!! You can guess what I picked up at the store this weekend...more birdseed!

Here is what I use for the ground feeder. Mourning Doves will not fly up in a tree to eat. Also for my birdbath I took a plant stand and put a plastic terra cotta dish on it. The stone turtle is a place for the birds to rest while they drink. Even the Squirrels get thirsty!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I don't think our Mockingbird was very happy about my visitors. Mockingbirds are very territorial and they are omnivorous so they turn up their noses at birdseed. All the other birds invading his space make him grouchy. I usually give him raisins as a peace offering!
When he first took our yard for his own, he would squawk and swoop down at us as soon as we came out the front door. He tolerates us now though and if we are sitting on the back porch he will come sing us a pretty song. Well, he's probably just asking for a raisin re-fill!

Here is a short article on summer feeding from Wild Birds Unlimited : If you have a store in your area they are very fun to visit.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Sorry for the glare in this photo. I took it through my window this morning. Can you see the Squirrel in the ground feeder dish? He sure is alot more bushy-tailed and bright eyed than I am this morning!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday May 27, 06

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We had a nice and relaxing day today. It started at 6:30am for me. Grace came to me yesterday after having finished a story where the girl character awoke Saturday morning to the smell of coffee cake. Guess what she asked me to do? :0) She didn't come out of her room until 7:30am and I can just imagine her sniffing the air every 30 seconds to see if it was ready!

I ran to the grocery store for a few things but got distracted by the garage sale signs! I was starting to give up finding anything good when I saw some silver dishes. They need polished up but I love them. One is called a "bon-bon" dish so now I really can stay home and eat bon-bons all day! Haha.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The girls helped me in the kitchen getting food ready for the BBQ toinght. Emily made the lemonade pie and as you can see Grace made a watermelon boat.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Benjamin and Daddy went to Home Depot to get some fresh sand for the sandbox.

Grace was so disappointed to have missed out on the garage sales that we ran up to the resale store. I found a fall tablecloth and some shelf liner for the kitchen. Guess what I'll be doing this week?! Grace found a horse patchwork quilt for $3.00!

The kids are getting ready to go swimming and we'll be grilling soon. I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'll be back on Monday.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lemonade Pie

1 - 6 ounce frozen can of lemonade, thawed

1 - 8 ounce tub of coolwhip (you can also whip your own cream and use that)

1 - 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

1 - Graham cracker crust

Mix the first 3 ingredients together and spoon into crust. Cover and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.

Classic Deviled Eggs

7 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon grainy mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar (or vinegar or your choice)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

1. Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 10 mintues. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with 1 quart cold water and about 14 ice cubes. Transfer eggs to ice water with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes.

2. Peel eggs and slice each in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to small bowl. Arrange whites on serving platter, discarding two worst-looking halves. Mash yolks with fork until no large lumps remain. Add mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worchestershire, and salt and pepper to taste; mix with rubber spatula, mashing mixture against side of bowl until smooth.

3. Fill egg whites using a spoon or you can use a pastry bag fitted with large open-star tip or a large plain tip. Sprinkle with paprika.

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Let us return to Columbus, Mississippi, in the spring of 1866. The Civil War has been over for a year.

Just outside Columbus is a cemetery where both Confederate and Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Shiloh are buried. On April 25, 1866, four young women pay a visit to the cemetery to tend the graves of lost loved ones and decorate them with memorial garlands of flowers.

After decorating the Condederate graves, the women walk over to a small plot where forty Union soldiers are buried. Gently they scatter Southern magnolia blossoms on the Northern graves.

The news of this unselfish, compassionate gesture spread quickly and touches everyone.

Soon in many small towns all over the country, people were gathering at Civil War cemeteries and holding commemorative or "memorial day" services.

Today, Memorial Day is recognized as a day honoring all of those who have fought America's wars.

-Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnack

Here is our Memorial Day menu:

~Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs
~Corn on the cob with butter and chives
~Baked Beans
~Deviled Eggs
~Potato Salad
~Lemonade Pie
~Ice Cream Sandwiches

What are your plans for this weekend?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm growing a green thumb....

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
for house plants that is! A few weeks ago our neighbors painted their house blue. Blue is my second favorite color but I don't care for how it looks against their brick. All I saw was a big block of blue out my kitchen window so I needed some creative decorating ideas. Houseplants seemed to be a good choice except I usually kill every one I bring into my house!
I decided to try my luck again. I went to Home Depot and got several different kinds including a Venus Fly Trap! It hasn't caught any bugs yet, but the kids are waiting patiently. I also got a violet and I'm happy to report that everything seems to be doing well!! The violet even has a couple of new flowers.

Do you have any houseplants you enjoy? Dead or alive. ;0)

Some random things about me...

-How many candles were on your last birthday cake? 30

-Height: 5’3’’

-Eye color: Blue

-Hair color: Medium brown. I forget what Miss Clairol calls the exact color. ;0)

-Where did you graduate high school and what year? Sioux Falls, SD 1994

-In the car- ac or windows: AC, blowing right at me!

-Favorite game: Monopoly. No one I know likes it so it will be a required favorite of my children. :)

-Favorite drink: I’m really liking Iced Tea right now.

-Favorite food: Chocolate.

-Favorite colors : Yellow and blue

-Favorite thing to do on a weekend: Going to yardsales!

-First thought in the morning: I don’t like this getting up early thing.

-Do you get motion sickness: Yes, very easily.

-Rollercoasters- deadly or exciting: Deadly

-Are you a good friend: Yes, I’ve been told I’m a good listener.

-Chocolate or Vanilla cake: Chocolate

-What do you drive: Dodge caravan

-Thunderstorms cool or scary: Cool. I love to sit on the backporch and watch and listen.

-Favorite brand of gum: I agree with Willie Wonka. “Chewing gum is really gross, chewing gum I hate the most!”

-Have you ever been in love: Yes!

-Is the glass half-empty or half-full: Half-full

-Which one, Coke or Pepsi: Coke....yum.

-Are you a righty, lefty, or ambidextrous: Right. But if you give me two pens I can write with both hands at the same time, my left hand writing backwards, right hand foward, in cursive!

-Do you type with your fingers on the right keys: Yes.

-What's under your bed: Lots of dustbunnies. They are my friends. ;0)

-What's the best number in the World: 7. I know, typical.

-What is your dream car: I’d like an old volkswagon bug.

-Favorite Salad Dressing: Honey Mustard

-One pillow or two: Two

-Pets: One cat, one mini rex bunny and a few goldfish.

-Hobbies: I think it would be easier to list hobbies I don’t have! I like reading, cooking, scrapbooking, sewing, writing letters. Lots of others.

-Favorite Holiday: Christmas.

Feel free to copy and paste this to your blog and fill it out with your own answers. I would love to read it!

Herbal bouquets

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Did you know that herbs have a language as well as flowers? Herbal bouquets may easily become charming, meaningful gifts for birthdays, wedding showers, housewarmings, etc. Write up a pretty gift tag to accompany them that explains the language of the herb.

Here are some of the more common herbs and their meanings:

~Mint for cheerfulness
~Thyme for courage
~Sage for wisdom
~Lavender for luck
~Rosemary for remembrance
~Basil and chamomile for love

Today I made a small bouquet of thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano and dill. My kitchen smells great!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is my Father's World

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We have been learning the words to this beautiful hymn, written in 1901. While I was cleaning up my gardens this afternoon, I was reminded of some of the words.

This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The pictures are:

~A brand new baby sparrow, hungry of course!
~My fern and African daisy
~Creeping thyme
~A new lily in the goldfish pond

Savory Summer Pie

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Good morning everyone,

I made this for dinner last night and wanted to share the recipe. It was very good!

Savory Summer Pie

1/2 (15 ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 purple onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

FIT pie crust into a 9-inch deep-dish tart pan; prick bottom and sides of pie crust with a fork.

BAKE at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

SAUTE bell pepper, onion, and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet 5 minutes or until tender; stir in basil.

WHISK together eggs and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in sauteed vegetables and cheeses. Pour into crust; top with tomato. (the tomato is optional)

BAKE at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until set; shielding edges with strips of aluminum foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mystery Solved!

G. E. B.
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
The culprits have been discovered! Aren't they cute with their popsicle mustaches?! They did such a great job helping me clean up. Want to know my secret? Chocolate chip cookies. Works for husbands too, although mine likes them raw. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

My house on this afternoon in May

G. Bedroom
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
It was such a quiet afternoon (that should have been my first warning). When I finally put down my book to see what everyone was up too, I was in for a bit of a surprise.
Tuesday is "clean bedrooms" day and this morning I was thinking about how easy it would be since they had been upkept nicely this week. Here is what greeted me a little while ago. Hmm....

Next up was another bedroom with a couple of well built forts inside. Those empty buckets over in the corner are where toys were neatly organized this morning. I'm not sure where they are now!

B. Room
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

All the pillows have been removed from my bed.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I was hoping to gather some more information in my master bathroom. All I found were blankets on the floor (from a finally organized linen closet although I still can't fold fitted sheets), toothpaste with no lid and a cat in the sink! And yes, she was tight lipped about the whole thing.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I did find some clues in the office and schoolroom. Whoever is responsible for this mess evidently enjoys Jenga, puzzles and construction paper.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

In the meantime, if you hear strange sounds coming from my house, it is me singing Barney's clean-up song!

Great Iced Tea in 15 Minutes

Sweet tea is to Southerners what wine is to the French. Here is the "Cooks Illustrated" version of Iced Tea. It is guaranteed to cool you down on a hot summer day!

Quick and Simple Iced Tea

5 tea bags of your choice (I use Lipton)
1 quart water
1 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on desired sweetness, many southerners will not be satisfied with anything less than one-quarter cup per quart!)
1 quart ice, plus additional cubes for glasses

~Heat tea bags and water in medium saucepan over medium heat until instant read thermometer registers about 190 degrees, about 10 minutes.

~Off heat, steep for 3 minutes (no longer or tea may become bitter). Remove and discard tea bags; pour into pitcher. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Stir in ice until melted. Serve in ice-filled glasses.


~Minted Iced Tea
Add 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, bruised with a wooden spoon, along with the tea bags and water. After you remove the tea bags, strain tea through fine-mesh sieve to remove mint.

~Gingered Iced Tea
Add 1-inch pice fresh ginger, sliced into thin coins and smashed with broad side of large chef's knife, along with the tea bags and water. After you remove the tea bags, strain tea through fine-mesh sieve to remove ginger.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tea for Two

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Emily had a really bad allergy episode last night. Her right eye got very swollen. Benedryl helped but I stayed home with her this morning. Sometimes just stepping outside first thing in the morning isn't a good idea. Phillip took Grace and Benjamin to church while Emily and I had tea for two. We had raspberry filled cookies and string cheese, along with our tea. I had Orange Pekoe and Emily had "Nursery Tea."
Here is how you can make it for your little one(s).

Cambric Tea - French Version

Sugar - appox. 1 teaspoon per cup
Boiling water
Hot Tea, strongly brewed

Place sugar in a cup, fill the cup to 2/3 with boiing water. Stir. Fill the last 1/3 cup with milk. Add a tablespoon or two of the strongly brewed tea.

Nursery Tea - English version

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon Hot Tea, strongly brewed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat milk along with the vanilla, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the strong tea.

When I make this I use the Cambric version and add a little vanilla. I am usually making a cup of tea for myself and just use some tea in my cup for the nursery tea.

Sunday Dinner

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I tried out a new recipe today and it was so good. White Bean Enchiladas, along with chips and guacamole (sadly, I'm the only one that likes it) and Iced Tea.
Here is the recipe:

White Bean Enchiladas

2 tablespoons sour cream
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained (I used white northern beans)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 Poblano pepper, diced ( I used 1/2 can chopped green chili's)
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso), divided
1/4 cup water
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine the sour cream, beans and cilantro in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, chiles, onions, and cumin.

Combine 1/3 cup enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup water in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Dip one tortilla in the sauce mixture to soften; transfer to a plate. Spread 1/4 cup bean mixture down center of tortilla; roll up. Place roll, seam side down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish ( I only had a 9x13 pan) coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and bean mixture. Add remaining sauce to pan; cook 1 minute. Spoon over enchiladas; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with minced cilantro, if desired. Really good served with a dallop of sour cream.


Meet "Hedgie"

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I have a strange weakness for garden knick-knacks. My favorites are the ones you have to look closely to see. Not just a quick glance at the flowers but actually stop and visit them. :0) My latest find is a little hedgehog that Emily named Hedgie. Doesn't he look happy crawling up to the creeping thyme?

Garden Elf
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

A garden elf keeps the petunias company and the bench is a nice resting spot for any fairies that stop by.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Merry-Go-Round Fun

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Recently, Phillip and I were talking about how we don't see merry-go-rounds at parks anymore. I don't think we've ever seen one in the last 10 years we've been in Texas. When Phillip cuts his hair really short he has some scars on the back of his head that are very noticeable. Grace was asking him about them and he told her about the time when he fell over backwards off of a merry-go-round and had to go get stitches.

Yesterday we went to the lake with some church friends. I don't have any pictures to share but we all had a fun time. There was a little swimming hole, some hiking trails and the best part? Bathrooms close by! ;0)

On the home we passed through a cute little town of 1500 people. As we drove along, I saw a sign that said "Friendship Park" and there under some big trees sat a merry-go-round! We pulled over and ran to check it out. I don't know who was more excited. The adults or the kids! Phillip was sure to show them how *not* to sit on one, like he once had!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I don't know how long it has been here but the bars were well worn by the little hands that once held on tight. For about 10 minutes or so it didn't feel like 2006 at all.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Queen Anne's Lace, also called "Wild Carrot," is a common plant in dry fields, ditches, and open areas. It was introducd from Europe, and the carrots that we eat today were once cultivated from this plant.
It is best known for its flowers, were are tiny and white, blooming in lacey, flat topped clusters. Each little flower has a dark purplish center.

Queen Anne’s Lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, an expert lace maker. English legend tells us that Queen Anne challenged the ladies of the court to a contest to see who could produce a pattern of lace as lovely as the flower of this plant. No one could rival the queen's handiwork. She however, pricked her finger with a needle and a single drop of blood fell into the lace, that is said to be the dark purple floret in the center of the flower.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer's day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer's day),
But left her lace to whiten in
Each weed-entangled way!

by Mary Leslie Newton

Do you have any Queen Anne's Lace growing in your neighborhood?

Birthday Party Sucess

Front Porch
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We had a busy day yesterday. We left to run errands at around 11:00am. First we went to Joann's. I needed some fabric to finish a project. Then to Borders to pick up a book, Party City to get some birthday plates and balloons. I got 12 helium filled balloons for 5.99 which I thought was pretty reasonable. Took the balloons home, then left for Costco. Everyone wanted cheese pizza for lunch which at 2.00 a slice would have cost 8.00 so we ordered a whole pizza for 10.00. We shopped while it baked. Queen Anne's Lace is growing all around Costco and I've been wanting to pick some but we still needed to go to Target. Buy a few birthday gifts and groceries at Target, pass Costco and pick some flowers, then finally go home.

I start the cake at 3:00pm. I open up the can of coconut milk and add it to the 5 egg whites. I get a funny feeling about the milk. I look at the recipe and realize it says I need cream of coconut! Leave for the grocery store at 3:20. We find what we need, rush back home and the cake is in the oven at 4:02!

We decorated the kitchen and wrapped presents. I got Phillip a T-shirt. Benajamin bought him a bag of tootsie rolls and M & M's, Grace got him a bottle of Pepsi and Emily gave him one of her glass bunny knick-knacks. Each gift had been planned for over a week! :0)

We had leftover pizza when Daddy got home and then had a piece of cake. The party started at 8:30 and we managed to squeeze 11 people onto my little back porch! It was alot of fun. We talked and laughed until 12:30am. I think this is the part I'm supposed to confess that I did not get up at 6:30am this morning. LOL. I'll do better tomorrow.

Now I need to finish cleaning the kitchen!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.