Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lots of Random Stuff

I love this photo that Gabriela took while on a walk with Caelyn and Menina.

Our days have been quite full recently, and I'm just now taking a breather. Today was wonderfully leisurely. Two of the children had to work, so the rest of us played a game, watched National Geographic videos online, and found my dream car. And laughed. That's an integral part of our family time.

Over the past week, we've covered quite a bit of ground. The younger four children had track qualifiers for four straight days, starting last Thursday. I was already exhausted by Friday night, but the Lord sustained all of us through the extreme heat, fast pace, and long hours. I owe much gratitude to my sweet girls for helping me to come up with quick, easy, and nutritious menu ideas for the meets. Congratulations are in order for Morgan, who will move on to the next level in the high jump.

On our way home from Friday's meet, some of us headed to a nearby farmer's market and scored these delectable cherries for a very good deal, among other wonderful things.

Here, Craig & the boys are replaying a video of a race.

Happily, I did finish a project last week before the mad rush began. The family next door has four adorable daughters. The oldest two are twins who just graduated from high school. I thought that they should have coordinating laundry bags to carry with them when they head off to college in the fall. I haven't made one of these since Caelyn left for Alaska a couple of years ago. I had a bit of fun with the details of these.

Mary & Rebecca were quite pleased with their bags, which just blessed my heart!

The children enjoy going to the lake (pond?) in our neighborhood, in search of alligators. They don't pursue them; they just like to see if any can be spotted. The boys researched alligator-hunting laws & requirements, and it seems like a relatively easy process. Gabriela took this photo of Craig Grayson as they walked:

As soon as I get up in the morning, I open the blinds. Morning is such a peaceful and inspiring time of the day. I regret that I don't rise as early these days as I used to, but the low sun does beckon me. One look at a beautiful morning motivates me not to skip my run. 

On Sunday morning, as soon as I opened the first blind, this little visitor was the first to greet me:

When I was a child, I was terrified of dragonflies. As an adult, I find them majestic.

One of our air conditioning units is in need of repair. Last night, as Craig walked around the back of our house to check on the unit, he came across a strange-looking insect on the patio, that appeared to have been injured. (By him, perhaps?) A bit of manipulation revealed that they were, in fact, TWO Walking Sticks. We haven't been able to determine exactly why, but the smaller of the two was actually inside the larger one, and our nephew, Antoine, pulled it out. As far as my cursory research can tell, Walking Sticks reproduce by laying eggs. Not all require mating, but even among those that do mate, the process doesn't seem like what we witnessed here.

These are the 2nd & 3rd Walking Sticks that we've found on our patio recently. The first one was already dead, so we added it to our insect display. These two were on their way toward death, so they'll likely end up there, as well.

On a different note, I don't spend much time on Pinterest, but I appreciate when something wonderful makes it worthwhile. I am so inspired by the creative genius of the author of this blog. She has motivated me to rediscover my penchant for organization. I seem to have abandoned it in recent years (along with my disciplined schedule). This post has spawned a growing to-do list that I hope to accomplish before it's time to start our new homeschool year, and it extends far beyond the sewing room. 

Typically, when I start a project, one thing naturally leads to another. On Monday, a couple of hours spent organizing my closet left me wanting a stool in front of my closet mirror. I couldn't take the stool from my bathroom vanity without having a replacement, so my mental wheels started turning.

I remembered the pair of chairs that I bought at an antique store in California when we were first married. One is need of repair, and both have needed new fabric to replace what I used to cover the seats several years ago. The intact chair was brought into my sewing room recently as a reminder to choose fabric for it.

I had fabric leftover from the duvet cover I made for Gabriela's room. A touch of cording, the staple gun, and a few mix-matched upholstery tacks brought the whole thing together. 

I can't wait to fix the other chair. Any suggestions on how best to replace a missing slat on the back? I saved it when it came off, but after our last two moves, its whereabouts remain a mystery.

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