Lots is going on in our little family! Lots of fun, I mean. My sweet little bun-in-the-oven has started making movements large enough for me to feel, and reminds me daily of the wonderful blessing I have growing inside of me!
Also, it's Autumn. My favorite time of year! (I say this every year when September and October roll around, even though I will be claiming allegiance to Spring as soon as March begins to shed its frost after the long winter.) Pumpkins adorn my front porch and mantel, while stews and fresh-baked breads fill my house with the wonderful smells of Fall.
It's a very good time of year!
(Asher at the Farmer's Market buying pumpkins!)
(These mums will be gracing my front porch as soon as I get them potted! Aren't they pretty?
And I got them at SUCH a bargain!)
My birthday lands in October, which means I get to celebrate in the midst of the changing seasons.
It's wonderful, especially when I'm surrounded by my sweet family!
Here's Asher with all of his cousins... he's already got a handful, doesn't he?
We just returned from a lovely trip to Knoxville, TN to visit Riley's grandparents. Wow, we picked the best weekend to travel! The trees were gorgeous, and Nana and Papa had a breathtaking one in their side yard! It made for some serious family fun! Asher enjoyed playing in the leaves, and particularly took pleasure in throwing his pacifier into the leaf pile and watching while mama tried to find it.
Ahhh, Fall. This really is my favorite time of year!
Well, we recently returned from a lovely family trip to Washington. We had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in the beautiful Northwest! With temperatures in the mid seventies with a gentle breeze rolling through, it's hard not to enjoy yourself.
We were able to stretch out the birthday fun for just a little while longer, and we had a great time. Since Asher turned one on the first of August, we threw him a "Golden" birthday party!
The kids wore these paper crowns Anna and I made.
The party was well attended! There were Doughtys everywhere you looked! We had such a fun time with so much family in town!
Asher sure got spoiled with gifts! (again!)
Asher got to dig into his cake with both hands!
Here's a sweet picture of Asher and his Grandparents!
We had lots of fun during the rest of our trip, also! One of the highlights was floating the Little Spokane River on a raft with Asher! He looked pretty cute in his bright red life jacket!!
We took flowers to Grandma's grave before we left, and it was a beautiful day.
We had such a lovely trip and are so thankful that we were able to visit during such a beautiful time of year! When we walked off the plane when we got home, we were greeted with 98 degree weather (plus humidity), but were glad to be home. After all, there is no place like home!
Well. It's been a year. My sweet Asher turned One on the first. That's right. He's already had his golden birthday, and let me tell you, boy did we celebrate! I decided to throw him a Hey Diddle Diddle party, and the kids had a blast! I'm posting these pictures for you all to enjoy.
Hey diddle diddle, the cat played the fiddle.
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such fun
and the dish ran away with the spoon!
Here's the big, happy family that celebrated with us.
Asher and Aunt Andi: Birthday Buddies! (Ash was born on Andrea's 21st birthday!)
We had a pretty cheesy menu. Cheese is Asher's favorite food. Plus, the moon is made out of cheese, right? Kinda cheesy, I know...
We had macaroni and cheese with hot dogs (and some rather clever cheese-art on top, if I don't say so myself), cheese bread, cheese balls, and cheesy broccoli salad! I even frosted Asher's cake with cream cheese frosting... yum!
The children all got to take home little goodie bags Asher and I made for them.
They had all sorts of fun treats inside, including this fun little play on words:
(It says: "The little dog SNICKERED to see such fun!)
My favorite of the favors were some bean bags I made for the kids out of cow fabric. They used them to play this bean bag toss game Riley helped me build! Do notice, the cow bean bags jump over the moon! How fun!
Another game we played was called "The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon." The children all had a "dish" with their name on it, and there were spoons scattered all over the yard. They had to run and collect as many spoons as they could, one at a time, and the person with the most spoons won! Grace and Jadon tied for first place, even though they were forced to hop like bunnies to make the game more fair. Good job, kids!
We also made bag puppets. I cut out templates so the children could choose between making a cow, dog or cat puppet (for the three animals represented in the nursery rhyme) and they had a blast playing with them afterwards!
The birthday boy with Daddy. Notice his Hey Diddle Diddle bib Aunt Andi made him! Love it...
Happy birthday to mooooooo!
Wow. SOMEBODY got spoiled!
(This picture is missing the fun little Beatrix Potter books the Walkers and Grammie gave him.)
We really had a great time. And the festivities didn't stop there! That evening we went out to our favorite Mexican Restaurant with the family, and on Sunday we had a second birthday party for both Asher and Andrea!
It was really fun, and Asher got even MORE presents! Life is good for a little one-year-old!
I'm so proud of my baby boy and love him to pieces! God has richly blessed us and we are truly thankful for such a sweet son.
Life can be simple. The problem is that we like to complicate things. I have a notorious reputation of messing up my laundry (although I have never thrown a red sock in with my load of whites... yet.) My most frequent problems typically involve the clothes dryer. I shrink stuff. And I fail to notice stains until after they are thoroughly set by the lovely dry heat that dryers are cherished for. The solution? I now hang dry. And despite it taking longer, I find the time well spent. Doesn't it look fun? Asher sits on a blanket and tries to eat grass while I pull my laundry out, piece by piece, and lovingly hang it while inspecting for stains that will require a re-wash. It makes laundry fun, saves money, and I have far fewer stains. Everyone wins, and we get a little more vitamin D each day! So simple.
Other fun happenings in our house this summer include trying to stay cool in-between loads by staying inside! Asher loves to play piano, and is rather pleased with himself for being able to reach the keys without assistance. Another fun treat this week has been keeping Grammie's dog while they're on vacation. Cocoa has been a source of great entertainment, and I'm afraid Asher will not know what to do with himself once his little playmate is gone! Cocoa has also been a lovely help in the kitchen, cleaning the floor as Asher eats, and has been an excellent excuse to stop hiding from the humid heat and get outside for some nice, long walks. He's been a fun treat! Hmmm, a puppy would make a great first birthday gift...? Probably not. Maybe we'll just have to borrow Cocoa more often!
Here's a little peek into my new favorite way to spend afternoon nap time...
A tea party is such a wonderful way to recharge midway through the day. It does wonders beyond a short nap!
It restores the soul (not to sound too corny).
Here is my recipe for a tea party for one:
Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to almost boiling. Don't let it boil. I think Brittish Parliament will be after you if you do.
Meanwhile, take 5 minutes to tidy up the room you will sit in. You'll be able to enjoy yourself so much more if you're not surrounded by clutter... or at least not as surrounded.
Gather your teacup or mug (styrofoam is not an option), sugar, cream (which is actually milk. Don't ask me why they call it cream. And under no circumstance should you ever add cream to herbal tea. Never. Ever.), a spoon, a napkin, and a little treat (a cookie, a scone, crustless PB&J triangles or some fruit are all lovely options!). Also, gather some pretty flowers in a small vase to enjoy while you sip. Weeds are definitely an option (as you can see in my picture!)
Brew your tea of choice in a teapot (or cup if you don't own one) and let steep for 3-6 minutes.
When finished, perch near a window and enjoy while listening to some soothing music. I like my tea time to be spent reading or just looking out my window at God's beautiful creation (which currently looks like a bamboo forest, but is still pretty in its own way).
You'll have twice the fun if you invite someone to join you!
It sure helps me recharge so I can tackle what I do the rest of the day...
Asher is getting around the house with surprising ease these days! He follows me when I leave the room (which I love) and whines constantly to be picked up (which I love not.)
So yes. Afternoon tea is a must.
Be ye inspired to join me in bringing back this lovely tradition!
I've heard it called mom-nesia. That dull brain one receives after having a baby and therefore getting no more than a couple hours of continuous sleep at night. Whatever you wish to name it, I have it in full swing even still. Lately I've acquired quite the knack at losing things that really aren't lost at all. Take for instance this little story:
I like to use my ear-bud when on my cell phone, in an attempt to prevent the inevitable cancer of the brain that all cell phone users are destined to. I was anxious to call my sweet friend Danielle, and began the recurring search for my ear bud. I checked in all the usual hiding spots, and then did the full-circle scan of the room. Then I did it again, and again. Before I knew it I was spinning full speed in the middle of my living room. I plopped down on the sofa in defeat, and then realized I was sitting on my earbud. Hmm. You'd think I would have seen it sitting there mid-spin. I guess not.
But I must not be too hard on myself. It's easy to lose things when you have a darling little boy who is getting rather good at making messes. I have here photographic evidence of what happens when he is placed a little too near my neatly folded pile of laundry.
Today I had the pleasure of touring some lovely historic homes and gardens here in Lynchburg, hosted by Lynchburg's Garden Club. Some of them were homey, and some were breathtaking, like this view from a Juliette balcony off the master bedroom of the fanciest house we visited.
A couple of the homes did not even look lived in. Take this pantry, for example:
You can see why I was compelled to take a picture of someone's pantry. I think she's put Martha Stewart to shame. Rachel (who went with me) and I decided that she probably does not even cook. This pantry is just for looks.
Since this was a garden party, there were beautiful fresh flower arrangements adorning each room we walked through. All the flowers came from Lynchburg gardens.
We had a wonderful time peeking into the homes and lives of these houses, many of which we have often walked by and wondered about. Asher and Helen were perfect angels, not making a peep all day. They were the object of many smiles, and I must say they stole the show wherever they went. Who wants to look at antique china and fancy furniture when a sweet baby face is staring at you? Let's be serious...