Showing posts with label seasonal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seasonal. Show all posts


A new & better year {and Toddlers' New Year Bash)

Despite the fact that my husband informed me today that I'm ALWAYS on the computer, this blog, my favorite online nook, has been reallocated to the lowest priority of my online time.  I have 4 active email accounts, 5 if you count facebook, 2 blogs, 2 seriously neglected writing gigs and a thriving new business.  So yes, I am often online, though not often posting.

In direct relation to the above, one of my two resolutions for this year is to UNPLUG and spend QUALITY TIME with my kids.  When we're home, it's so easy to attempt to multi-task and check emails while watching them wrestle play together.  However, as a novice Play Therapist, I know more acutely than most the importance of ENGAGED PLAY and meeting my kids where they are.  Just a few minutes a day will give them confidence, social skills, decision making skills, processing skills... need I go on?  The best part is, IT'S FUN!  When I'm not trying to simultaneously write/ read/ study/ cook/ clean, my kids are not nearly as...well, annoying ;)

My 2nd resolution (by the way, this is my first experience with making New Year's Resolutions!) is to be healthier.  I will be exercising AT LEAST 30 minutes, twice a week.  As you can see, I am realistic and setting the bar at an attainable height.  We joined the YMCA on Friday and have been there TWICE... granted, so far it's just been for pool time for the kids.  But starting tomorrow, I will begin exercising my jiggly rear off.  I've also completely cut-out caffeine from my diet and have taken great steps towards reducing my sugar intake.

2012 had a lot of great moments, but overall, I'm SO GLAD IT'S OVER!  2013, while an odd year and therefore not as like-able, will see many great things:  the end of diapers in my house;  major developmental steps & achievements in my girls; financial stability for Jake and I (don't ask any questions, we're in the exploring/wishing/hoping/praying stage); better HEALTH for my loved ones; bigger & more productive gardens at Medley Acres; and stronger relationships (within my marriage and new friendships from church & school).  And those are just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG things that I'm looking forward to in twenty-thirteen :)

Speaking of the NEW YEAR and FRIENDSHIPS, we are really blessed on that account!  My bro-in-law, Josh, who lives on our property, finally got his priorities straight and chose a girlfriend based her her compatibility with ME and MY LIFE (ok, that's probably not true, but it should be).  His mate lives near-by and has a daughter that's about 9 months older than Hazel.  They ADORE each other and for New Year's we enjoyed our first annual TODDLER NEW YEAR'S PARTY & SLEEPOVER!

What's that you ask?  That's when you celebrate New Year's whenever it's convenient for the kids... for us, that was about 7:42 :)

Step 1:  MATCHY-MATCHY Pajamas.  I simply love coordinating bambinos :)
Their friend "S" looks adorable in every pic.  This is as good as my nose pickers get.

Step 1.5:  In the spirit of Christmas, open some more presents.  This was my all-time favorite gift this year:

Step 2:  Review with the kids how to COUNT UP to 13.  At this age, counting in reverse is like brain surgery.

Step 3:  Blow up LOTS of balloons... and buy a house with a balcony ;) (you should probably do that before step 1)  This was our favorite part of the night and since we just had Jake shaking the balloons out of garbage bags, we could easily do it over and over and over and.... oh my.
My Grandma is in the foreground trying to figure out a confetti popper :)  SO FUN!

Look at the faces of those kids:  pure joy!  I LOVE Hazel's cackle :)

A lovely start to what is sure to be, another LOVELY YEAR for KoskersIdlewild :)


Feeling joyful

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

This year we've broken from our normal routine and enjoyed many fabulous days visiting with family and feeling full of JOY!

I can't believe that my last post was Thanksgiving.  Very unusual for me and it's certainly not been a lack of content or inspiration keeping me away... just a lack of time for many good reasons!

Last weekend we drove to Cleveland to see my dad, Junko, with our very own eyes.  He had to return to the hospital the day after my last post.  The thing about leukemia is it is truly a DAY BY DAY journey.  A wonderful, terrifying lesson in appreciating/ surviving/ overcoming each day.  

Jim Orris (donor), Dick Lehman & my mom celebrate my dad's new birthday as they watch new life pour into his veins.
*if you compare this pic to the Thanksgiving photo 2 weeks previous, you will notice how much healthier and stronger he looks!
In the above picture, my dad is receiving his stem cell transplant.  His brother (black sweater, white collar, looks like what my dad will look like when he's healthy...if he doesn't grow his beard again) JOYFULLY donated his perfectly matched stem cells.  That was a another gift of this experience, getting to spend time with my California-living Uncle.  Jake now refers to him as the family's best kept secret (between that and my mom's nickname of "golden egg" for my Uncle, I fear we sent him home with an inflated ego :)  We hadn't seen each other for probably 20 years, not for a lack of love, just unfortunate timing during his visits "home". 

So far, my dad has been a "textbook" case.  Throughout his journey his only good luck has been overcoming the odds as he gets slammed with turn after turn of worst-case scenarios.  The fact that he was eligible to receive this transplant is living proof in the power of prayer.  I am hesitant to ever feel or share optimism over my dad's prognosis and strive to feel THANKFUL and JOYFUL for every day he's been given since diagnosis in June.  The road ahead of him is long and difficult... yet I now catch myself thinking about future family camping trips and woodworking lessons for the girls.  Hope is a good thing and this season we are full of hope (and JOY).

Last weekend we traveled to Ligonier and Greensburg to spend time with Jake's parents.  The JOY my girls feel with each of their grandparents is truly a heartwarming thing for a mom to see.  

We were excited to take advantage of a free kids art activity offered every Sunday in Greensburg!

Last night, while aching for my biological family, it was wonderful to get to experience Jake's dad's family tradition...Valea!  We traveled with Jake's brother and his girlfriend to Gibsonia to enjoy more time with Pap Pap and Gammy & many cousins.  So many delicious traditional Polish foods, silly family traditions & wonderful people.  Instead of feeling sadness over missing my favorite church service and Orris traditions, I truly was full of JOY and love.

That day started with Hazel seeing deer tracks in the snow and JOYFULLY exclaiming that they were "Reindeer tracks".  Clearly Santa sent his reindeer a night early to double check directions to our home!  Later she helped me prepare Santa's plate, complete with cheese for "Santa Mouse", a cutie for "healthy food" and of course a carrot for the reindeer.  Before we left for dinner, SANTA HIMSELF CALLED FROM ALASKA THE NORTH POLE.  I never knew that her smile really could stretch from ear to ear!

The best shot I could get of my sweater (dress) crew on Christmas Eve :)  Dearest Heidi, for the jokester of the family, why don't you smile for photos?  
We returned home around midnight and Jake and I were giddy with last minute preparations and imagining the girls reactions in a few short hours.  Below you see our HILARIOUS Christmas tree (aka a tree from the driveway that needed to come down.  Notice the top extends at least 3 feet up with no branches);  Hazel starting in on her gifts; a rare photo of me (thanks Jake) helping Heidi work on her gifts; & a mid-present "cool down" to enjoy a new book.

Fortunately, this year Hazel did NOT ask for poop!  Instead she was quite practical and asked for "a sleeping bag and applesauce".  We were thrilled that Santa obliged with good quality sleeping bags that will be used & abused for the next ten years!

And finally, a truthful photo of the post-presents tornado (and super worn-out super-dad).  Though discharged last week, my dad had to return to the hospital on Saturday to deal with some chemo effects which while a bummer, gave my mom the freedom to be home for the Christmas Eve service and some much needed grandchild-therapy (for the next few months, my dad has to be within a 1-hour radius of the Cleveland Clinic.  We live 2.5 hours away, so they will be living with some wonderful friends during this time.)

Whelp, my house is filling with delicious smells as Jake and Josh (his bro) work their magic and spoil us rotten!

Much love and appreciation to all of you who visit my blog (and made it through this whole post)!


Ideal Mama Day Gift :: the gift of time

As a young mother, I fantasize about TIME.  Uninterrupted naps.  A few quiet minutes to be still.  Time alone.

As a "seasoned" mother, I'm pretty sure my mom's perfect Mother's Day gift is time TOGETHER.

Different points on our motherhood journeys.

Our road trip to Chicago succeeded in giving us BOTH what we need.  I have been SPOILED ROTTEN!  Meals in delicious, unique restaurants.  Shopping w/o the baby (they actually hired a babysitter for afternoon shopping!).  Movie w/o the baby.  Long car rides when all I could do was... BE.

My mother got time with just Heidi.  Something neither of them often gets.  All weekend, 9 times out of 10, Heidi stretches out of my arms in order to be with her Llama; fulfilling her Mother's Day gift to each of us.

Hazel and her father are having a BLAST!  Not the teary "I WANT MAMA" evenings that I feared when leaving on this 4-night trip.  She is flourishing with the non-stop attention from her dad... and judging from the joy I hear in his voice, the feeling is mutual.

Each of us is connecting, growing, breathing, enjoying special times...

To all the amazing women out there...whether you are raising/ raised/ dream of/ let younger friends into your heart...HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

*one outtake from this morning's photo shoot:
classic Heidi facial expression

**Like her dress?  Stay tuned for more goodies and a giveaway from Rugrat Designs later in the week!


a vintage Easter

From our nest (literally) to yours,
The lightest end is the natural color of the egg.  Next year I will make many many more of these beauties!

My camera has been BEGGING for some Hazel time and her Easter outfit provided oodles of inspiration!  Her dress, slip, silver bracelet and the tablecloth are compliments of her Kosker Grandparents who specialize in antique clothing.  If you live in PA, Ohio or Maryland and would like some vintage clothing/accessories, email me and I'll let you know when "Almost Antiques" will be in your area (they also take requests and are willing to communicate via email and ship the items)!

In preparation for Easter morning, we invited the Easter bunny over for a tea party.  Rest assured, Easter bunny left our neck of the woods in good spirits and with plenty of energy to visit your house :)


and because I simply couldn't handle the sweetness of this vintage slip, Hazel braved the chilly evening for one more photo.  I truly didn't tell her to tilt her hat and hide her face for these photos... it just so happens that these are my favorite and this was her most common pose.  She is such a natural!

OR WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:  Hazel fell in love with the Easter bunny and decided to run away to be his assistant.  Knowing I wouldn't want her to dirty her dress, she cast it aside and headed off in her slip.

hat:  BonTon; shoes:  Kohls; bunny:  Pottery Barn; suitcase: metal tea set from ? specialty store; tea set used in photos:  vintage plastic set given to Hazel from an elderly friend from church


She's a peach :: party recap

There's NOTHING out there for a "She's a peach" party.  So, I'm going to share every little detail with you in case you have spent hours scouring the web in hopes of party ideas :)  If so, welcome to KoskersIdlewild!

The party was fabulous (despite my sinus infection)!  We enjoyed a small gathering of family and friends... keeping the guest list especially small since it was an indoor party.  I had a BLAST planning this party!  I've promised my nearest and dearest that I won't set the bar this high for future birthday parties.  However, I REALLY love planning a themed party... so I might pull out all the stops at some point in the future :)

First things first:  If you want to throw a SHE'S A PEACH PARTY, you need to know something... THIS ISN'T A BONAFIDE THEME!  You won't find pre-made peachy keen decorations anywhere!

Second, you can pull-off this party even when peaches are not in season IF and only IF, you have a flat of peaches that you canned 3 years ago... forgot about... and re-found in time for the party :)  BooYah!*

*I don't talk like this in real life.  Someday I'll tell you about the super cool, uber successful friend from my past who once said that and was then tortured throughout High School.  Is it too late to take him up on the date offer?

The INVITATION:  I highly recommend "borrowing" graphics from the James and the Giant Peach party pack :)  Then, I used the GoogleDocs drawing program to make my own evite (we're sooo green).

The DECOR:  

  • I bought a pack of coral scrapbook paper (on clearance!) and used the pinkish and orangish sheets to make cheery birthday banners (3" wide, 6" long.  strung on peach string.  easy peasy).  Two of the banners also display some of my favorite photos from Heidi-loo-who's first year.  
  • The dessert tree is a family favorite:  our PIE TREE has been used in a handful of weddings, present company included.  
  • The peach pom poms (or warm fuzzies as we Lutherlyn people call them) were hand-made by me during some productive TV time (how often can we say that?).  Here's a simple tutorial for you pom pom virgins :)
  • The peach striped straws were one of my favorite parts!  I scoured the web for anything peach and these were truly the ONLY party decoration that is peach.  Fortunately, I spend enough time on Pinterest to know that striped straws are a must have for any party.  I offered some with flags (She's a Peach or Heidi is #1) and some without.
  • The CHALKBOARD FRIDGE was painted by me, not for the party, but this is it's grand unveiling, and decorated by Farmer Jake for the party.  
  • The buffet isn't really decorated, but I do like to use cards as holiday appropriate decor!  
  • The KIDS TABLE was my favorite part!  We "planted" a tree through the table's umbrella hole and hung mini felted peaches.  Before they left, the kids who attended the party got to PICK A PEACH and take it home!  We also had lots of window markers and crayons and let the kids draw an orchard on our sliding glass door.  The artists were 2 years old... orchard shmorchard ;)
The two best decorations came from my new Etsy sponsors.  I can't say enough about these two ladies!  I would be tickled pink peach if you headed over to their shops for your next shin dig!  

To take your party to the next level, head over to IsaKay Boutique.  These straws can snazz up any table.  It's in the details... 

I have filled Irina from MyLittleKawaii's email inbox simply because I find her so delightful.  One perk of Etsy, is that you get to be picky about who you buy from.  I always check the geographic location and bio of the artists.  Check out this woman, you will be intrigued!  She lives in Chicago AND Austria, but was born in Russia.  For the record, that's all it takes to get a wanderlust blogger like me to pull out my credit card ;)  I can't wait to show you what I'm buying from her for my Christmas decorations.  But enough about her for now... there will be another post in the future ;)  So, WHO WANTS TO PICK A PEACH?  It's simply not right to love a piece of felted fruit as much as I do!


  • Peach Salsa from Corner Cupboard.  I was going to make my own, but upon hearing a hint of mania in my voice, my sister suggested I try to find some premade stuff.  Fortunately, I found it on the first try and sent my dad out to get it (he was in the area anyway).
  • Peach-glazed meatballs
  • Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken (this one was a HUGE hit... every single recipe I've ever used from Pioneer Woman has been amazing)
  • Baked brie with peach preserves (made by my friend, Bre... of course :)
  • Passionate Peach wine from Johnson Estate Winery (which I recently visited with Bre!)
  • White peach mead made by our friends/guests Ty and Jason (clearly I invite party guests based on their peach repertoire)
  • Peach lemonade.  I simply pureed a few jars of my canned peaches and added it to lemonade mix.  YUM!
  • Peach ring gummies.  My sister and I inhaled these as kids.  As a mature adult, I never buy them, so I was excited to have a reason to indulge once again!
  • Peach flips (made by my father-in-law.  A family tradition, though typically made with apricot filling.)
  • Peach pie.  I had 3 jars left of previously canned peach pie filling.  Since it takes 3 jars to make a pie, I felt like the Universe was smiling down on me ;)
  • the pièce de résistance... PEACHES AND CREAM CUPCAKES, TOPPED WITH ROSES FOR HEIDI ROSE!  Seriously, if you get the chance to name a daughter Rose, DO IT, just so you can make these EASY edible roses for every milestone in her life.  I know I am!   
    • We LOVED this cupcake recipe (link above)!  We're not big cake people and these moist cupcakes were more like an apple cake or sweet bread.  The perfect texture and sweetness!  The icing was incredibly easy too!
    • As for the ROSES, I am VERY proud of them!  I found the idea in Disney's Family Fun magazine (which my Aunt gives me all her back issues... thanks Aunt Laney!).  Here's the link to their instructions... word-to-the-wise:  buy STRAWBERRY fruit by the foot (kudos if your stores actually sell just boxes of strawberry, I had to buy 4 boxes of mixed assortment).  Hazel does not think this is a problem.  But seriously, the other flavors do not have the wavy center line, so they don't work!

and best for last,

the GIRL:

My smother-in-law (what we call Jake's step mom, not because either m-i-l smothers me!  Ha!) offered to get Heidi a handmade dress for her 1st birthday.  We did the same thing for Hazel.  My criteria was that it must work as a dress for year 1, a tunic for age 2 and a tank/shirt for age 3.  I fell head-over-heels in love with this design by Adelaide Original (who, like the other Etsy sellers mentioned above, quickly became an internet friend.  I love technology!).  This dress has lots of shearing in the back and completely adjustable straps.  As you can see, Gamma also had a matching dress made for Heidi's new baby doll.  AND Hazel got a coordinating skirt.  Guess what my girls will be wearing for our upcoming orchard themed family photo shoot (yes, I'm overly into this whole theme thing right now)?

As for the cake, Heidi definitely approved!  The wheel barrow was a gift from Heidi's friend who spends the week days with us.  The kids immediately began clamoring for turns pushing it around the house.  Can't wait to see what CHORES I can get them to do in the yard!

Phew, that's a wrap folks.  Anyone want to give me a prize for the most links in one post?  


Leprechaun Playdough

We're off on a family get-away.  According to Hazel, "we go to camp with our friends and eat CANDY!".  Sounds like the perfect weekend, eh?  Note:  this camp comes equipped with private rooms, electric fireplaces, catering and lots and lots of board games.  I'm just hoping that this year Hazel sleeps through the night and Jake doesn't throw in the towel and drive the 1.5 hours home at 4am like last year!  True story... and we still love her, go figure!

Since I'm not the only one bringing youngsters, I decided to make a double batch of my favorite play dough... precisely the recipe a leprechaun would use... I'm sure of it!

Here's the original recipe.  Since I'm not one to recreate the wheel, you'll have to go to the original site for the recipe.  However, here are my adaptations to make Leprechaun Playdough:

  • use lime jello
  • instead of any ole cooking oil, use coconut oil!  Why?  I'm glad you asked!
so you see, there is really no other option when making lime playdough.  Teach this song to your youngsters and now you have an interdisciplinary activity (I tried to get a video of Hazel singing... it went something like this "lime and cucnt.... WHAT NEXT MOMMY?".  As an added bonus, the playdough smells DIVINE and though not delicious, it's perfectly safe to let babies play with since it is completely edible.

  • When mixing your playdough, slow and steady wins the race.  I stirred over low heat for about 10 minutes!  It seems impossible when you start with your green liquid, but it will eventually form a ball!
  • Once cooled, knead in gold glitter (I used mostly green glitter since I ran out of gold.  Ho hum!) and working one handful at a time, add 2-4 T of flour to each handful.  Just till it doesn't stick to your hands!
  • I packaged the playdough in clean baby food jars, hit the lids with primer and spray paint, and then using double-sided tape, stuck a St. Patricks Day tattoo on the top (I found 12 for $1 at Dollar General).

For more ideas, check-out my St. Patty's Day inspiration board (can you figure out why my pantry is stocked with boxes and boxes of jello?).  If you want your own framed subway art, this lovely person is sharing it for FREE!  I simply downloaded it to my computer, uploaded it to my favorite photo center and had it printed in an 8x10!

And there you have it!  15-minutes to full-out St. Patty's day fun!  Now all you have left to do is choose a corned beef recipe... and figure out how to keep your favorite leprechaun from stealing your dough!
rainbow shirt a lucky coincidence!


gorge then fast

Happy Friday friends!  In December, I shared a 2-minute informative Advent video.  While I don't want to preach to you, I do want to educate you.  Whether or not you're a Christian, your life is likely affected by the seasons of the church (I'm in America and referring to our majority religion, Christian churches) in some way.

I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the people celebrating FAT TUESDAY next week are not doing it in preparation for starting a fast.  Plus, rumor has it that the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans is more of a secular event, gasp ;)

If you live in my area of NWPA, join me on Tuesday at Good Hope Lutheran Church for a free FAT TUESDAY dinner.  There's something about the pancakes, eggs & sausage that they serve all day that is way more delicious than any breakfast foods I make!  Yum!  Leave a message if you want more info.  They're not gonna preach to you, just feed you :)

Without further ado, here's your 2-minute crash course on Lent.

I've never fasted for Lent, I'm thinking about it... I'll let you know what I decide!  I'm also gonna write an informative Catholic versus Lutheran post... simply because I was asked this recently and I'm the world's worst conversationalist!  I said something like:  "uh, Lutherans ummm don't pray to Mary or confess to their Pastor."  Major hand slap to head!  I like to think, reflect, write, think some more and THEN discuss... certainly counter productive in many ways :)


i heart you

It's true, part of my love is always available for YOU!  To make a new friend, to reconnect with an old friend, to laugh with (or at) you, to cry with/for you, to rejoice with you, to learn from you, to be inspired by you, to lean on you. I often feel like the Grinch when my heart physically grows 3xs larger in a single instant.

the most recent SUPER DAD photo.  Jake is helping Hazel plant the 1st seeds of the season!
These three are my world.  Sure, some of them pick their nose incessantly, decide to be fussy only after 10pm, staple gun into the trim work of the kitchen, refuse to eat dinner, pick-up their sister and attempt to carry her across the room, dump every basket onto the floor, etc.  However, they each also surprise me everyday.  My heart is full... and yet growing every day.

posed for a nose picking.  seriously girl!  she now carries a kleenex in one hand and picks with the other.  
Notice our Valentines Decor?  We made simple hearts out of crayon shavings & wax paper.  Simply iron between old dish towels, cut out desired shape, and tape onto window!

*Dearest grandparents and Aunt Marianne, Hazel made your Valentines at the beginning of the month.  However, her mama didn't mail them yet.  She has lots of excuses ready, but at least you have something to look forward to later in the week!  *sheepish*



the hills are alive

 Rhododendron's bloom at Hasson Park in Oil City, PA.

 Lady's Slipper Orchids.  A rare and protected variety of wild orchid... found in abundance on our property!

 Wild Azalea also found in our woods.

Hazel on our spring wild flowers hike...taking the time to stop and smell the orchids :)


hate to see you leave

...but love to watch you go!

Took this priceless pic while going on a walk with Hazel and photographing the glorious spring blooms.  (someone had a "potty" accident and instead of returning home, we simply continued our walk minus the wet undies and pants.  sorry future Haze, but admit it, this is an adorable pic!)  Ever notice how gorgeous dandelions are?

I didn't start this post to talk about spring, but might as well go with it.  We've had a warm... dare I say... HOT week!  After months of rain and gloom, I feel like a caterpillar breaking out of my cocoon.  This week we dined on asparagus and rhubarb picked hours before consumption from my father's garden.  Biting into such fresh food makes me want to sing from the rooftop.  My body has felt more energized and alert this week.  Perhaps it's because my peanut is past the 6-week mark.  Perhaps it's because I'm no longer running the tutoring center.  Perhaps it's because I'm finally cooking real meals and eating a healthier diet.  Or perhaps it's simply because part of me has been hibernating since October and has finally awoke!

Never one to let sleeping babies lie...

yes, I shamelessly thought of a way to sneak a picture of Heidi in :)

Time for me to go back to my original plan for this post:
Farewell to my cutesy bloggy background and hello to crisp, refined, uncluttered Kosker's Idlewild!  Last weekend I caught myself telling my brother-in-law how I really like WHITE SPACES.  They appeal to me and make me pause.  "Duh", I said silently to myself... time to redesign my blog!  However, redesigning a blog is a lot harder when one knows NOTHING about html or photoshop.  Enter an old college choir friend, Lindsay, who writes a fun blog entitled "A litttle Kloep".  She read my plea for help and within 24-hours, sent three headers to my inbox.  Wow!  Talk about the kindness and generosity of others!  Thanks Linz... don't know how you found the time, but I'll be looking for a way to PAY IT FORWARD :)

Do you like my new design or is it simply YAWN INSPIRING dull?


love is...

(this post is written in Hazel's point of view)

Love is... giving your best friend a kiss.

Love is... surprising Dada at work with an upcycled gift box full of chocolates.
Love is... getting a nice squeeze from your best friend.
Love is... hanging out at the tutoring center and getting more smooches.
Love is... making Valentine's Day cards for your favorite people.
Love is... stealing the card that you gave to your best friend, finding some quiet space, and eating her pretzel stick.  (and having a mama who prepared for this and had extra)
Love is... attending your first Valentine's Day party... even if you need a nap and spend most of the party crying.

Love is... having a Mama and Dada who love you unconditionally forever and always.

*Love is... writing this blog while Hazel and her Dada snuggle on the couch listening to a book of bird calls!   Ooo... new word "cuckoo"... followed by "wow".  Love is THIS MOMENT!

*Thanks to Lizzythebotanist who lovingly sends me emails everytime she stumbles upon cute owl crafts!  This adorable Valentine was made by one of her bloggy friends and can be printed for FREE from this blog.  I might just use it every year... until Hazel asserts her own opinions.


Scaredy Cat

This is Hazel's first time playing dress-up.  To say that she didn't get it is putting it very mildly!  Despite the mirror we had ready, she rubbed and rubbed everytime dada tried to be artistic with the make-up.  Regardless, the result is bound to turn even the most feline-opposed into a true cat lover!

(notice that she had to stalk some prey... the elusive owl... in order to have a treat bag)
Hazel visited 4 houses this year and her bag was bursting at the seams.  I want to point out that I'm the only shmuck who gave her chocolate!  Kind of ironic for a mama who tries to be so careful with sweets :)

(she also had a mega cute tail... hopefully her Gma Orris got a pic of that!)



it's begun

...SUMMER!  Today was the first day when I felt like it was actually summer.  Being a SAHM (stay at home mom), I didn't expect to notice a change.  But there is a definite switch.  YeeHAW!

Afternoon mugginess lends itself to time on the couch, with a tall glass of sun tea, in front of the fan, making a dent in my pile of novels.

Fresh vegetables are the foundation of each dinner (oh how I'm loving our CSA!  I'll give Jake props on that one.).

A last minute plane ticket brought my sister home this week.  I think we've spent 4 days together since Christmas '07!  (We are very close and really write our blogs for each other, but am VERY glad you're along for the ride too!)  Hazel is getting very spoiled with attention and her parents are getting spoiled as Aunt Marianne gives us a day for just-the-TWO-of-us tomorrow!

As I type, my husband is hacking and hacking and hacking away at shrubs which haven't been pruned in eons (a hazard of buying a home from my elderly greenery-lovin' grandparents).

Hazel and I morph into bathing beauties at least once a week as we practice our syncronized swimming.  (swim cap a major PERK of buying a home from my elderly grandparents)
New life abounds as we finally got to bring home our KITTEN (holy cow... er... cat, I don't have any pics of her/him yet!), chickens continue to hatch (again, as I type... seriously... grumble grumble grumble... how many fowl do we NEED?) and our quail start laying eggs (first 6 eggs today!).

So, what are the signs of summer around your neck of the woods?


Happy Easter!

My first Lambie cake!  For the record, it DOES sit up, I just didn't want to carry it to my parents house and have it fall.  I was SO excited to use my new china platter (Jake's dad bought it for his mother 30 + years ago and it was recently passed on to us.  Very special to have Tippy's china at our Easter meal!)

Look at my beautiful Easter Snuggle Bunny!  
Jake and Timmy put Hazel in Easter Jail while I was at choir practice!  GEESH, where can you get good childcare these days?

TWINS!  Hazel and Marla are a few months apart in age.  
He is RISEN!
The Kosker family.  Living a Blessed life.
I am in LOVE with the book I found for Hazel's Easter gift.  I wasn't going to buy her candy, BUT Wal-Mart (I know I know!) sold owl-themed candy.  What's a mama to do?

From my family, to yours.  We hope you're enjoying the beautiful day and yummy (forbidden) foods!