Monday, April 27, 2015

Growing the garden and our boys

We planted our garden last weekend!  Last year we planted from seed, but started too late, and we got nothing.  As in, tons of zucchini and a few tomatoes but nothing else.  Oh, and two watermelons that were too grainy and mushy to eat.  This year we took the easy way out and bought our veggies in pots.  We may try seeds again, probably will, but this year we just wanted to see if we can get some more benefit out of the garden and maybe, possibly, make our money back.  It's a doubtful thing, but we're trying. 

The boys wanted to help.  They were really great, watering each plant after we put it in.

Moments like these, the boys with their dad, they make me incredibly nostalgic.  Prepare for more photos than you ever needed to see.  The cuteness may hurt your eyes.

Handsome Hero is always a very serious man.

It amazes me how many things we have bought, not thinking ahead to Nate.  Last year, I bought the other two gardening gloves.  Not Nate.

I also bought the other two watering cans.  Not Nate.  Obviously, he didn't need those things then, but now he really wants to help and is aware of not having what the other kids have.  Funny how that phase crept up on us.

I love how seriously Jack takes his watering, even while Handsome Hero is a total goof.

Not now, Dad.  I'm concentrating.

The hose is around the front of the house {there is one closer, but it is leaking, and we're afraid it will leak into the house, so until Handsome Hero can look into it, we're down to one outdoor faucet}.  The boys would each take a watering can {Nate borrowed Ella's}.

Then Jack would carry them both back.  One of Nate's few phrases is "too heavy!"

What a sweetie.  This is one five-year-old with a heart to serve others.

When they got back, Nate would walk through the cucumber trellis a few times before he was ready to water.

He watched big brother to know just what to do.

One plant done.  On to the next.

Nate likes to understand things.  He doesn't want to be left out.

Another plant lives because of the combined powers of Wonderkids Jack and Nate.

This is one of my very favorite pictures.

Oh, be still my heart.  Can I freeze them?

I am so glad to get to capture moments like these.  Sometimes I forget to bring out the camera and times like these remind me how important it is.  I kind of don't care if we get veggies this year.  We had a really fun time with the boys and I got these pictures.  That's enough.  Growing boys is much more rewarding than growing tomatoes, anyway.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ella's Big Girl Birthday Party

This weekend, we had a first in our house.  

Ella turned eight a couple of weeks ago {!} and what she wanted more than almost anything was a big girl party.

Not just any party.

A tea party.

It was a wonderful opportunity to use some china from my grandmothers.


It was so fun to put this together.

I did buy some cheap flowers, but mostly I shopped the house for decorations.

The kids and I made these flower sugar cubes.  They really couldn't be simpler and they were a huge hit.

I spent a few dollars on crepe paper streamers and these poufs {it was the same price at Hobby Lobby to buy them ready to fluff as it was to buy the paper and make them from scratch}. 

It didn't hurt in the beauty department we were in the sunroom and everything was blooming outside.

I folded the napkins into roses and put them in the cups.

I found these brass vases at a salvage yard!  I love them so much.  

Outside on the deck, we set up a station for the girls to paint canvas bags.
I had a smock or paint shirt at each place so the girls wouldn't get paint on their pretty dresses.
We put paint brushes in mason jars and scattered jars with water around.

And we were ready to go!  The day was perfect. 

I sent Handsome Hero and the Wonderboys away for the afternoon and had my friend, Abby, help me with the painting part.

Most of these girls are in our church and it was so fun seeing them all carrying their bags on Sunday.

I do not know what I would have done without Abby.  I hadn't thought through how often the water jars would need to be changed out, or how much help the girls would need with the paint.

While we waited for the bags to dry, we went downstairs and played Pin the Decorations on the Hat {another creation by my lifesaver, Abby}.

I would like to state that I love these girls.  Each and every one of them was so incredibly sweet!

They encouraged each other all the way.


What a lovely hat.

Then we went upstairs to the sunroom for tea and Pink Lemonade cupcakes.  These were quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

They were so excited and sweet about getting to use such fine china!  They even began speaking with British accents.

They liked having the tea party so much that when we ran out of tea, they were sad.  While we waited for a new pot to steep, we opened presents.

Ella was very excited about each gift.  These girls know her well!

Doll clothes, crafts, and other very girly things are speaking this girl's language.

These girls.  I love them.

I think I had as much fun as the girls did.  This was a truly wonderful event and Ella felt so special!

Happy Birthday, Ella!