Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Just in case my 5 million followers were wondering if I fell off the planet.... (hehehehe!)
I'll be back soon. 
Real life is calling.
Thanks for understanding.
XX~ Kelly

Monday, April 23, 2012

~page 191~

Being a parent can be really hard sometimes.
We teach and guide and pray that when our children are away from the home that they make good choices.
But we never know what choices they'll be confronted with or what they'll be exposed to once they step out that front door.
That is what scares me most.

Our oldest came home from school one day last week and started telling me about a book that a female classmate was reading.
This book was on the shelf in their classroom, available for anyone to read.  As much as we encourage literacy in our own home, there are some books that are just meant for adult eyes only.
You would never find such a book offered in a school book order or even in the Young Adult section of the library.

I own a copy of the book.  (This particular author is great, but geared toward an adult audience.) 
I ran and got the book and turned to "page 191" and read the four very *descriptive* pages, just like he had at school. 

It was the longest four pages I've ever read in my life.
His wheels were turning. 
Then the questions started.
And kept pouring in...
and going on...
and on.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind him asking.
I WANT him to come to us with questions.
I WANT to be the one to tell him the answers.
The correct answers.
Not the "school bus version". 
What gets me was that we even had to have the conversation in the first place.
I was ready to talk, but wasn't ready for him to hear what I had to say.  We've talked before about the same things, but not to this extent.

The conversation went as well as it could have.
I stressed some important things and kept some items for a later discussion or for him to discover on his own.

Sometimes I wish I could keep them young and innocent forever.
To be able to hold their hands and give them security.

But then I remind myself that we are giving them the proper tools to make their own decisions in life.
We have to slowly let go more and more each day, trust them, and watch them grow before our eyes.
It's awesome and scary at the time.

More than anything, I'm glad we've taught them to feel comfortable enough to come to us with any questions.
 That door will always be open.

Friday, April 20, 2012

~this moment~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
 A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Thursday, April 19, 2012

~snack time~

Big brother: "Why does my raisin have a stick in it?"

Little brother: "Duh, Austin... They were grapes, you know!?!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

~ice cream~

"Baby Hot Fudge Sundae"

Spring means more than just sprouting buds on the trees, grass turning plush and green, and birds chirping. Spring also means time for the "Dairy Bar" to open in our town!! 

Derek always gets the same: "Chocolate Baby Cup with Sprinkles and Eyeballs with a cone on top." 
Notice how he already ate the swirl on top before I could get a picture?!?!

It's a treat to stop by this place on occasion.  It's located less than a mile from our house and right across the street from the ballpark.  Sometimes coaches or parents will treat their team to ice cream after a great game. 

Nothing like enjoying a cold treat in the car with sweatshirts on!
Ice cream really does taste better when it is 90 degrees outside and you can sit on the curb to eat it and it melts faster than you can lick it.  I'm not kidding!

Strawberry would have to be my favorite flavor... as long as it has HUGE chunks of real strawberries hidden throughout.

 What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Monday, April 16, 2012

~Liebster Blog Award~

Talk about a nice surprise when I got home from a long weekend! I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award by fellow blogging mama, Lisa of Little Coffee Beans . Thanks for the virtual love, Lisa.  If you wouldn't have picked me, I would have sent this your way.. for sure!!  I've really enjoyed getting to know you and your family and getting a daily glimpse into your world (and garden)!   

The Liebster Blog Award is a bit mysterious, Lisa stated.  Here's what she told me she found: "The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favorite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient must then pass it on to [three to] five more blogs of note."
The basic idea is about spreading the love and the recipient(s) of the award are encouraged to:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog.
  2. Choose 3-5 blogs with less than 200 followers and pass the award on to them.
  3. Display the Liebster Award somewhere on your blog.
I think I can handle that!
Even though I've only been blogging since the beginning of this year, here are three blogs (in no particular order) that I'm enjoying reading today:

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Woman
Melissa is fellow mama to two boys and blogs about whatever floats her boat.  When I read Melissa's blog, I get a glimpse into my future with my boys growing up.  I never know what to expect from her daily postings, and that is part of the reason I am so drawn.  She's creative, passionate, caring, and always takes time to drop in and leave a line on fellow blogs. Melissa describes her blog as, "the random things that pop into my head.... events, people, places, and the strange workings of my mind."  I don't find them strange at all, Melissa.  I'm intrigued!  Oh yeah~ I'd save a seat for her next to me on the bleachers at a wrestling tournament any day! 

Rowan & Oak
Amber is an herbalist and mama to two sweet children.  What instantly drew me to her blog was her beautiful photography and her shared love of nature and plants.  Amber is also creative, loves to sew, and I've enjoyed her showing how she re-purposes adult clothing to the needs of her children.  Amber and I share a love of books and she also resides in my birth state.  Sometimes I read her words and wonder if we were separated at birth!  I think if I were ever able to head out west, I'd love to meet her in person!  We'd have a lot to talk about!

Mindless Ramblings
Heather is the author over here and I love that we have these things in common:  a passion for our children, a creative spark, and the love of literature.  Heather states she is a, "baker, knitter, crafter, hiker, bicycler, gardener, wannabe farmer, friend, wife, and proud mama living in the desert."  I've enjoyed getting to know her and her current story is of a move across the country.  Life is always an adventure and I'm glad we are getting to enjoy the ride with her!  I'm sure we'd be great friends in "real life", too.

Congratulations to these three mamas!  Now go pass on blog-loving the goodness!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

~raising hens and chicks~

My version of raising hens and chicks... in the city!

This is the closest we'll get to raising our own hens and chicks where we live.  As much as I'd love to be filling these cartons with fresh eggs, we'll have to settle for these babies for now. 

Each season, I cut some of the side shoots off my larger existing plants and get these little ones to root on their own.  I've found that this method works great and I can easily get 18 new plants off the "mama".  I poke holes in the bottom of each section with a pin for drainage, then put another carton underneath with a few pebbles inside to create a space for air flow. 

I know the plants are ready to be moved into another container when I gently try to lift them and they are attached to the soil beneath.  They'll move to a new container for a few months until they get bigger and start having multiple side shoots. Then I'll give some away to neighbors or family and plant the rest in my flowerbeds or containers until the next year.  Then I'll repeat, as needed.  

Someday, I might actually have some hens and chicks with feathers running around our property. 
But for now, these will do just fine!

Friday, April 13, 2012

~this moment~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by Soule Mama
Feel free to leave a link to your moment in the comments below.  Happy Friday!

{photo by excited to take a picture of this ball that stuck}

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It's not often that I am in my car going somewhere alone.  Tonight was an exception. I took advantage of the quiet time, my beautiful surroundings, no traffic, and the changing season seen all around. 

As I drove and took it all in, I couldn't help but think of this huge world and everyone in it.  I've met a lot of people in just in the past three months blogging.  Some I've gotten to know better than others, but I've appreciated chatting with all of you.

 We are all on different paths in this life. And as different as we may be, we all share something that enables us to connect.

I might not knit, or home-school my kids, or buy organic produce all the time (gasp!!), or raise my own chickens.  I don't sing in a band, party until the wee hours of the morning, or let my kids play rated 'M' video games. I never breastfed my kids, I cuss sometimes, and I don't iron.  Ever!

But even though I might do completely different things, or not do them, we're really not much different after all.

 We all appreciate the beauty in the small things, have a love of nature, care about values important to us, and do things for the better of our own families.

 Just because we do things different, doesn't mean it's wrong.  I find inspiration in all the diversity.  I absolutely love seeing pictures of spaces all around the world, learning new cultures and traditions, getting a glimpse into another life.  

Thanks for being a part of my ride... 
Wherever your road may lead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

~ with lemon, please~

Water.... with lemon, please.
That's my new drink of choice.
Since January, I've been trying to cut out Pop. (I call it pop... some call it Coke or Soda.  It's always been "Pop" for this gal.)
I loved Diet Pepsi.
Couldn't get enough.
Now it tastes funny to me if I drink it. 
At first, I cut back to just ordering Pop if we went out to eat somewhere. 
Now, it's either tea or water.
I can honestly say that I can tell a difference from this change.
In numerous areas.
I thought it would be harder than it was, but it wasn't.

One thing that helped was buying this cool cup with straw.
I love it.
I carry it to work.
It's in my cup holder at every ball game.
It's on my coffee table in the evenings.
It's on my nightstand until morning.
My kids take sips and think it "tastes better" in this cup.
As pricey as it was, I still might just have to buy a couple more for the rest of the group.

It's like buying a new pair of shoes, or a new color of nail polish.  If something just looks pretty to you, you are drawn to it more.
Thank you, my yellow-green cup, for encouraging me to drink more water.

Please share... whether it's coffee, tea, pop, soda, water, beer, Kool-aid.  Just shout it out..What's your drink of choice??

**Now I have to admit that as I read this post back, it's making me sing "Red Solo Cup" in my head!  Or, should I say, "Yellow-Green Cup"!?! And now I'll raise my cup saying, "Cheers to you, my friends! Happy Tuesday!" 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

~Scavenger Hunt Screw Up~

I wake to the sound of a plastic egg trying to be snapped shut.
I open my eyes and nudge my husband to let him know the kids are awake.
A few seconds later, Derek comes running into our bedroom, excited as can be.

And here's what happens:

Derek: "Guess what? The Easter Bunny came and left an egg in my closet and it told me to look in my shoe and I found an iTunes gift card!!!"

Mom:  "Did you find any other eggs, too?"

Derek: "Nope, just the one in the closet."

Mom:  "Hmmmmm.  What's the first thing you did when you got up?"

Derek: "Got my clothes on."

Mom: "So, you got up and went straight to your closet for your clothes and then you found an egg?"

Derek: "Yep!"

Mom: "OK?!?! Go see if you can find any more."

Derek: eagerly runs out of parent's bedroom

Mom: (leans over and whispers to Dad) "So, he managed to MISS the FIRST egg the Easter Bunny left right by his bed on the floor, leading him through an entire scavenger hunt through the whole house?!?!  He ends up finding the LAST egg the Easter Bunny left on said scavenger hunt, leading him to his prize right away?? Wow!  I can't believe that."

Dad: smiles and laughs

Derek: (enters back into parent's bedroom) "Guess what?"

Mom: "What?"

Derek: "He did leave me more eggs.  They are in all different places.  But there aren't any more prizes."

Mom: "That's great, honey."

Austin: (enters room) "Hey thanks for the iTunes card, Mom & Dad."

Mom: "Don't thank us...thank the Easter Bunny."

Austin: "Yeah, whatever.  Hey, I mean it.  Thanks guys."

Derek: (looks up strangely at big brother)  "Um, it wasn't from them Austin!  It's from the Easter Bunny."

Austin: "Oh, yeah, sure Derek.  Right. I forgot." (gives mom a ~look~)

Derek:  "We got a whole basket of stuff, too, Mom!"

Mom: "And where was that, Derek?"

Derek: "Right by my bed next to one of those eggs."

Mom: "I see.  Well, maybe the Easter Bunny wanted you to open THAT egg first and then you would have gone on a scavenger hunt to find the other eggs that led you to your iTunes card."

Derek: "Oh, THAT would have been fun!"

Oh yes, my sweet child.  That would have been fun. :)

Next year I'll have to remember to tell the Easter Bunny to make a huge *START HERE* sign.  That is... if the big brother decides to keep his mouth shut long enough for one more visit.  

~Hope you all had a lovely Easter!~ 

Friday, April 6, 2012

~this moment~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by Soule Mama

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

~opening day~

Tomorrow is a holiday in our house.
It's on the calendar.
We take off work early.
We grill out and have lots of goodies to snack on.
We'll eat Peanuts and Hot Dogs and Ice Cream from our Cincinnati Reds cap bowls. 
We love baseball...
and especially our Cincinnati Reds!!

They boys are deciding which shirt to wear.
Bruce, Votto, Phillips, Cueto, or Rolen.
They have them all... in red or black.
I've got my flip-flops ready. 
Just need to paint the toes.

We surprised Austin last summer and redecorated his room one weekend when he was staying with his grandparents.  His room was originally a peach color.  We got by telling him it was "light orange" for long enough.  Our boys have more OSU and Reds stuff than we have room for.  So, it was only fitting to keep with similar colors and stick with the sports theme. 

The pennants in the first picture were something I found at a local store years ago.  I snatched them, just wasn't sure what to do with them at the time.  So, when we redecorated his room I wanted to incorporate them somehow.  I decided to hot glue little clothespins on the backs of each one and hang them from twine in his window.  Austin separated them between the two leagues... American and National.  Now he can move them around and keep track of their standings all year. He's all about the stats!!  (I've recently bought gray blinds that hang under the pennants, too, for privacy. They just aren't in these pictures.)

This old printers drawer use to hold my mom's miniature collection.  I thought it would be perfect next to Austin's desk so he could display some of his Lego and Halo guys.  It's usually empty... as they are often found scattered about the house.     

Just thought I'd share a quick peek inside his room.
I'm off to bed now.
Can't wait for 4:05 p.m. tomorrow!
Sweet dreams of home-runs...
Go REDS!!!


Today at work we have an activity planned for the Seniors. 
They'll be dying Easter eggs.  On the invite I wrote, "Bring your own hard boiled eggs" and some got a huge kick out of that! 

I ran to the store last night and picked up the dye tablets and cups to dip them into.  I think we'll try the natural dyes at home with the boys this year, but they need to sit longer to reach the color.  So, we'll have to go with the fast dye tablets for today.

It's a blast working with Seniors!
They really are just grown up kids.
I have so much fun at work with this group of people!
You never know what to expect from one day to the next.
Or one sentence to the next.
They are wise, caring, loving, and independent.
And they are family.

Will you by dying eggs this year?
It doesn't matter if your kids are grown, if you are a boy or girl, if you are young or old, or if you've never done it before....
it's a fun time! Colorful eggs are just lovely. Just beware of the "Colorful Finger-Tip Fairy".  She tends to leave her mark every Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


4 poles
2 licenses
2 eager boys
2 patient parents
beautiful weather
new pond
5 hours fishing
23 fish later (catch & release)

We had a blast fishing yesterday!!
The boys already want to know when we can go again.
Derek enjoyed casting more than anything.
Austin was able to bait his own hook by the time we left.
Mom, on the other hand... not so much.
Dad caught the least fish.
This was due to the fact that he baited and unhooked for us all.
He is awesome.
Mom came home with racoon eyes from wearing sunglasses all day.
And a headache, too.
Derek thought the huge toad that came up out of the water was cool.
We all enjoyed a day of being unplugged and electronic and cell phone free.
Austin has always been the comptetive one...
fishing is no exception.
We all thought the "Crappie Bait" smelled... crap!

Now, if you'll excuse me...
I have some boys anxiously awaiting a game of H-O-R-S-E in our driveway.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

~where the green grass grows~

Enjoying the beautiful green color I see each morning blurred through the bottom of the glass. 
 Spring is here!
And it is gorgeous!!

This week the kids are on Spring Break.
Nine days off school.
Love it! 
No major plans.
We are taking the boys fishing tomorrow.
We'll visit a lake I have memories from.
Baseball. Baseball. More baseball.
We'll enjoy watching the Cincinnati Reds on opening day.
They'll spend some time with grandparents. 
No big vacation or travel plans far away this year.
For the most part, we are staying in.
And sometimes that is the best kind of break we can have.

Tell me...
What was the best Spring Break vacation you can remember?
Where did you go?
It could be from your childhood,
high school days,
college years,
or your married/family days.

I almost forgot! 
I saw the boys whispering on the couch this morning and giggling.
It can only mean one thing...
April Fool's Day plans.
I can't wait to fall victim.
I love it just as much as they do.
These boys!  
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