Thursday, March 31



If you don’t like insects, skip this post!!





We have ants in our kitchen!

I know it is early for our area,

but here they are!

Below are the responses I have received so far:

A. Oh, Gross!!!

B. What?

C. Cool!!!!

My curious boys shift between “B” and “C” and

I checked off “A” right away, but I am faking a “C” on most days!

Over the 2009 holidays, my middle son received an ant farm as a gift from some friends of ours. I thought maybe we could order the ants over the next several months. Well, the last year was not the best year for ordering ants.

Unfortunately, we had our own free, insect collection sneaking in here and there driving me batty.

We had our usual tiny, brown ants starting in April, the occasional cave crickets, my arch nemesis (which forced my husband to do all the laundry for six months, more about that later) in the basement mid-April, mud dauber wasps in May, a delightful hoard of box-wood beetles in a flower bed in June, a random spurt of horse flies in July, and let me not forget the stinkbugs in August.

I was in no mood to order any insects. Also, I am a big wimp when it comes to creepy, crawly things. On top of that, my sister and I were born with Bionic, Bug Vision; we can spot a spider a mile away. I am not joking! Needless to say, I was exhausted, come September, when we started up home school again.

So, I shoved the ant farm up on a high shelf praying my son would forget all about it. Then, in July, he got another ant farm for his birthday! Yay! Then every month I heard, “When can we order the ants?”

I broke down and must have repressed the entire last year and ordered the ants last month from Uncle Milton!

Last Thursday, they came in a tiny plastic tube, in an envelope, in the mail.

The boys were thrilled.

Their cousins liked them too

I got some books out of the library about ants and did some research online and the boys have enjoyed learning some interesting facts about these amazing insects.


Things I have learned so far:

I still don’t like ants even if they are contained.

Ants are all type “A” personalities; they never stop working.

They bury their dead.

They communicate through chemicals and their antennas.

Some still have six legs….yuck!


Having an ant farm on your kitchen table

is a great way to lose weight;

you lose your appetite as soon as you see them!!!

Maybe, I’ll keep them through the swim suit season?

Tuesday, March 29

"The Jones"

“Mr. Jones” dancing in his back yard

If you ever had the slightest interest

in seeing how you or your family measured up

to "The Jones,"

this link will give you a clearer understanding

of where you fit in compared to

those people, “The Jones!”

I know you will be surprised!

Come on,

I know you are curious...

Saturday, March 26


my youngest swinging with bubbles

Stumbled across this video


and it did make me smile!

The music is


I think I have a weakness for finger snapping in music.

Have a great weekend…or as I say to my oldest,

make yourself a great weekend.”

Thursday, March 24

Sew, a needle pulling thread

So I ended up getting my very own sewing machine
for my birthday!
I am very excited!
I did some research online,
asked other friends about their machines and
also talked to a professional seamstress.
The advice I got was great:

Buy a sewing machine that…

- can last a long time (like a lifetime)
- is heavy and won’t move across the table while sewing
- the motor should be strong enough to hem jeans
- comes with attachments (i.e. a zipper foot, button hole stuff)
- you can try out and return it if you don’t like it

I ended up purchasing a Kenmore sewing machine.
That is the brand I have borrowed over the years
and feel the most comfortable using.
So far, it has been fun testing it out.

Also, a good friend of mine gave me

a lot of material to practice with.

Thanks Joyella!

Now, where do I go to purchase

'uninterrupted time' to sew stuff?


Here is a fun video that has been on the internet

for a while, but it still makes me smile.


Tuesday, March 22

pirate eye

This is an easy breakfast that wakes up sleepy pirates. Pirate Eye Ingredients 1 slice of bread 1 egg a pat of butter a pirate accent This is very simple and me matey’s like to help. Using a single slice of bread,

take a child’s size cup, turn it upside down and press

it into to the middle of the bread turning it a bit.

Remove the circle and toss it to a hungry lad.

Drop a pat of butter into a frying pan (or spray some cooking spray) and turn the heat on medium. Put the bread into the pan and crack an egg over the empty space in the bread. (No eggshells please, or you might walk the plank)

Heat it on the burner until it is firm enough to flip over. Flip it over and heat the other side until the egg is cooked thoroughly.

Serve with juice, some fruit or yogurt and you’ll have some very happy pirates.

Fun pirate music always wakes up the crew in the mornin’!

Saturday, March 19


Hello Spring!

Friday, March 18

kitchen table fun

I like to keep an activity out on the kitchen table
for the kids to get into that is fun, educational and not too messy.
This is one of them.

In art we have been going over primary and secondary colors and working on some art projects along that theme. I had this plastic organizing container that I was no longer using and I put some water in each square (You could also use a white ice cube tray). I put McCormick's red food coloring in one square, yellow in another and blue in another.

I gave them a plastic dropper and a little bowl of water to rinse it in and let them experiment.

What I like about this activity is that they can do it at their own leisure and come back to it through out the day adding more color to different squares. They loved the different shades of color and the dropper and it kept them occupied during this rainy week.

It was fun to walk by and see the transformation of colors.

Some of the combinations looked like paint samples or sample color schemes.

Ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there add up throughout a long, rainy day for a parent. If it totals forty-five minutes of quiet play for one child and thirty minutes for another child it is well worth it.

The trick is not to leave it out all the time. Put the activity away for several weeks and rotate something else fun. If you have ten simple activities that you can rotate every so often then you can keep them pretty interested.

Saturday, March 12

it’s the little things

One day, a sleep deprived girl,
who needed a creative outlet,
decided to write something.
Then she uploaded
what she wrote on the internet and
it’s the little things
blog was born.

That was one year ago today!

A big "Thank You” to you,
my loyal readers, for encouraging me
to keep writing and to keep sharing.
I really enjoy writing, taking pictures and
sharing my journey with you.
The goal with this blog truly is to share
a smile, ideas, laughter and encouragement
and like my last post; hope.

Thank you for coming back to check in on my blog!

Cheers to a year full of growth and change.
May you too, put into action your dreams and
find an outlet for your gifts and talents!

Below is a composite of some of
my favorite pictures over the last year.

It truly is the little things!

Friday, March 11

F is for Funk

Trying to pull myself out of a funk is nearly impossible.

I muster, grasp, strive and fail.

Not until I was driving my boys to a class today, in a torrential downpour, did it sneak up on me again.

There is nothing on this earth that can give us true joy.

Not people,

not food,

not any amount

of technological distractions

or intellectual pursuits.

The promises this world whispers turn up empty.

I know this deep down inside.

Life has an interesting way of distracting me

and I let it.

Not until I hit rock bottom, or come close to it,

do I realize again, that without faith I am nothing.

But what is even sadder, without it,

I have nothing to offer.

I don’t want to just distract you

from whatever you want to be distracted from.

(Believe me, I love surfing the internet and
checking up on my favorite websites.)

But I hope, in a small way, I can pass on a smile, a laugh,

encouragement but most importantly hope.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
James 1: 2-6

So back to the driving in torrential rain…I am sulking inside and feeling gloomy and this song comes on and I am humbled again!

The words are powerful enough to snap me out of my funk and refocus my thoughts toward the only true hope in this world; God.

I pray whatever trials you are facing today,

the small,

the big and

the chronic ones,

that you may find peace and true hope.

You are not alone.

You are loved.

Thursday, March 10

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This past week was my oldest son’s birthday. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted me to make for him and he said, "The same as last year."

Well, last year I made a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake twice! I found the recipe at and thought I wold give it a try.

The first time I made it, I used the wrong size pan and I forgot to add the cream. When my middle son saw the brown, toasty cheesecake he said,
“Oh, you made a Wooden Cake!
That is exactly what it looked like.
We had to laugh!

It was still edible, but the texture was more of a cookie than a silky cheesecake. So I carefully whipped up another one and used the correct size pan.
It turned out great!

If you like cheesecake, this really is an easy recipe. I used raspberry preserves from the grocery store instead of making the raspberry sauce. It is delicious.

The hardest thing about making this cheesecake is not eating the entire thing yourself!!

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Tuesday, March 8


I have been going to bed a bit earlier than usual, hence the lack of posts. Thanks, for checking back though! : )

I really can’t organize my thoughts and ideas until there is absolute quiet in the house. And, unfortunately, that means I have to wait until about 11:30 at night. And even then, there is no guarantee of not being interrupted.

We have been battling illness for some time. It has been wearing me down balancing the nursing hat longer than usual among the others I toss on and off.

I was able to grab a quick bite with my sister on the dreariest of grey, rainy days. We laughed, gabbed, ate and drank and ran through a typhoon back to our cars. It was good to wear the sister hat for a couple hours which makes it easier to put the nursing/mother hat back on with a smile.

This week, during another rainy day, the boys and I pulled out the block box. We set up villages and towns and grabbed some figures to occupy them. I smiled as I pulled out these blocks that I glued wiggly eyes to last year during a spat of inspiration.

if only I could keep my eyes open like this all day

If your little ones are past the oral phase, this idea might keep you amused during the endless hours of floor play and/or inspire some other form of creative play altogether.

These blocks ended up being “Spy Statues” in the town of Niceville!

Friday, March 4


Oh, I forgot to mention….during the little-boy-sock-shortage-incident, I also could not find my keys
for an entire week. This is a long time and entirely inconvenient for a mother. I knew they would show up eventually. I remembered having them when we came back from an errand and as I was unlocking the door they dropped out of my hand and into a flower pot by our front steps. One of us picked up the keys and brought them inside.

I wasn’t really worried.
I figured they were under one of my piles of papers.

I have misplaced keys before so, over the past summer, I specifically bought a bright, blue, stretchy, band and toggle so I could locate them very quickly in the bottom of a bag or across the room.
The plan has worked beautifully.
The only flaw…..

I can’t see them through wood.

Or more specifically, I can’t see them inside a closed, wooden, pirate, treasure chest!!!


Yep, when I was tidying the living room, I lifted up the lid of this treasure chest to toss in a plastic, gold coin and there were my keys.

This little pirate apparently forgot where he buried the treasure!!!


For some cute pirate stuff see the following…

Pirate Bird

Pirate cupcakes


And, Oh, I really, really like these

Jack Sparrow’s Tricorne dessert at

Diamonds for Dessert!!!


Photo: Diamonds for dessert

Tuesday, March 1

outside fun

The warmer weather has my mind swirling with ideas to extend exploration and outside play for the boys. The laundry has already started increasing because their outdoor adventures bring back muddy pants and coats and soaked socks. And I don’t care. I really don’t. They are having a blast! I put them in old coats and rain boots and don’t sweat it when they return to the door. They know to take their rain boots off before they walk up the steps to the door and to take the clothes off that are dirty right inside the door. We do have some rules that make life easier on us all.

Outside rules:

Stay in the yard
Don’t intentionally throw, kick or pour mud, dirt or leaves on the other
Pee inside the house
Come quickly to get help if the other is hurt
All hats, mittens, etc. stay on unless brought inside
Our toys stay in our yard
Don’t stick any limb through the fence that has a dog on the other side
Don’t run with, swing or throw long pointy sticks
Be a helper, share, cooperate, and take turns
Insects do not come in the house, unless they are in a bug box that has a tightly fit lid
Explore, have fun, climb, jump, run and squeal

I am sure I am missing some and the boys will do something else this summer to create a new rule, something like, “No pretending to fly like superman out of a tree!”

Here are some outdoor play ideas I found that I might try this summer:

Water play from childhood101

Gravel and trucks from Two Chicks and a Hen

Mud Pie Kitchen from pepperpaints

Oh, my sister and I would have loved this kitchen, my mother, not so much.


Wooden Chairs also from childhood101