Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keeping Up with the Smiths

Project 365 - March 31

Jed got to hold a baby for the very first time today! Caleb, 5 months old, was a very good sport about it.

Jed and I spent the afternoon at his friend Elijah's house. Elijah's mom Lori and I caught up on a video we both missed from the Esther study while Jed and Elijah played quietly with Legos, her two younger boys napped, and her baby got ready to go down for his nap.

Lori is a multi-tasker extraordinaire. She was simultaneously watching the video, taking notes, nursing the baby, giving Elijah architectural advice and...get this...baking cookies. That, my friends, is impressive.

Even more impressive are her balancing- and walking-on-a-3"-landscaping-plank-while-holding-a-2-yr-old skills, and her patience with mud season.

Here are the rest of her boys:

Andrew, who just turned 2 and who just finished one of his mom's cookies. :)

Josiah, 3-1/2, who looks every bit the English chap.

Elijah, who just celebrated his 5th birthday with a fabulous bowling party.

Lori didn't stay still long enough for me to get a good picture of her, but here she is tending to Josiah with a smile on her face. Not that I'm trying to imply anything, but you could see them both if Jed's ears were just a bit smaller. ha

Monday, March 30, 2009

Creative Genius

Project 365 - March 30

This is Lynne. Lynne is our ladies' Bible study leader. Lynne is also a creative genius.

The study group finished up the book of Esther last week, and tonight we spent some time in sweet fellowship, eating blueberry cake and making an objet d'art related to Esther's story.

We altered slide mailers into something resembling a compact, seeing as how Esther became queen of Persia through a beauty contest. The problem was, the mirrors were thicker than slides, so the mailers wouldn't close all the way. I found some beautiful stiff ribbon that worked well as a "belt," but it was a struggle to figure out how to cover up the hot glue used to keep the ends together.

I came up with a couple of solutions, neither of which was very good...one was a crown charm, which got kind of lost in the ribbon, and the other was to use the hot glue as a seal, using a carved pencil eraser dipped in copper pigment ink as a substitute for a signet ring. I thought it was a cute idea, but the execution left something to be desired.

That's where Lynne's genius came into play. She used a foldover leaf longways on the ribbon and it was absolutely perfect. Here's my slide mailer, using Lynne's idea.

Here are the ladies, showing off their handiwork.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Project 365 - March 29

We can now rest easier at night, knowing our tv is safe.

Jed spent some time this rainy afternoon playing with his favorite toy: bungee cords. He got a jar of them for Christmas and he's played with them more than anything else he received (sorry, Grandma and Grandpa, but it's true).

Most of the time he's asking me to tie him up, which I am totally not into, but lately he's been rigging up all sorts of protections for us, for which I have a certain appreciation.

So, if you were planning to make off with our TV, think again. Crime doesn't pay around here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Project 365 - March 28

I got to play today while Jed was taking a nap.

I was so intrigued with Debbie's bottle cap charms that I decided to try making them myself. I started last weekend, but those results were disastrous so I cleaned everything out and started over today.

I discovered I have a heavy hand when it comes to Diamond Glaze. That stuff is so much fun to play with! However, when it stays milky for 5 days, you know you overdid it. This time I'll try thin layers and keep my fingers crossed.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Project 365 - March 27

I give up.

As of today, I am officially out of the squirrel relocation business. I have decided to call a truce (albiet an uneasy one) with the rodents that have caused me so much frustration.

They've worn me down.

I'm tired of acting like an idiot chasing them away every time I see one on the bird feeder. Even though they run, I know in my heart they're snickering at me. Mostly because as soon as my back is turned, they're back. There's no fear.

They're relentless.

I have decided, for the sake of my mental health, to reconcile myself to their greedy antics. Unless I get that gun I'm wanting for my birthday. Then it's every squirrel for himself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Project 365 - March 26

Most people feel at least a slight bit of dread when fall turns to winter...especially here in Maine, where the winters are long and difficult.

I am probably the only person in this state who feels that dread about spring.

It's warmed up a bit recently, off and on, and the snow is melting.

Everywhere you go, people are talking about spring. The summers are beautiful in this part of the country, and I can only assume that it must be that pleasure they're looking forward to, because the transition from winter to summer in Maine is not pretty. It's not called mud season for no reason.

This is the road that was a winter wonderland one month ago.

And this is where we'll be until things dry out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Bell Tolls for Jed

Project 365 - March 25

I had terrible experiences with dentists when I was growing up. To this day my blood pressure rises as soon as I sit in that comfy chair.

So you can imagine my anxiety when the dentist told me during our check-ups last month that Jed had a tiny cavity. I was relieved to hear it was due to an imperfection in the growth of his enamel and not the result of poor dental hygiene, but still...a filling is a filling, no matter the cause. I decided not to mention anything about this to Jed, for fear of transferring my angst to him.

I was so glad he couldn't see me while he was reclining in the chair, because I know I cringed as soon as the drill started up...and he didn't even have novacaine! But the dentist was true to her word; the whole thing took no longer than 5 minutes. And Jed handled it like it was nothing.

That boy is my hero.

The shades are an interesting addition to the dental experience...the lenses are dark and do a great job of shading your eyes from the bright lights. I am amazed how much they help...I wouldn't have thought they would make much difference, but I'm actually able to relax a little with them on, even in that dreaded chair. Plus it's obvious from the picture they make the patient look uber cool, always a plus. :)

I have to say, though, by far the most amazing part of our visits to Dr Seywerd's office is the dentist herself. She is incredibly gifted in putting patients at ease. I've had three doctors in my lifetime that made me feel better just for having seen them. She's one of them. That is a rare gift indeed.

I never would have believed I'd be saying that about a dentist!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Love FREE!

Project 365 - March 24

A good friend (who shall remain nameless lest she be creeped out from being mentioned a little too often in this blog) alerted me recently to an online deal for a free pad of paper from Die Cuts With a View.

I do love free!

They have 12 new lines of paper designs, and I got to pick which one I wanted. I chose the Taj Mahal line, which has deep, rich colors, lots of glitter (something DCWV is known for) and foil.

I tried to photograph my three favorite papers from the pad of 48 sheets, which was an interesting experiment. It was a tricky process to keep the glare down without losing the foil.

*sigh* I have a lot to learn.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ahoy Thar, Matey

Project 365 - March 23

You already know Jed has a thing for bling. Now he has something suitable to store it in.

I found this papier mache treasure chest while digging through my craft supplies recently. Apparently I had started doing something with it and changed my mind. I offered to paint it or decoupage it, but for some inexplicable reason Jed likes it the way it is.

He has had a high time filling it with treasures. At the moment its contents are as follows:

1. "Smelly" crayons
2. Bejeweled boxes
3. Gold coins (chocolate, of course)
4. Beaded necklaces (dolphins, I think)

He is inordinately proud of his treasure. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Lovely Spring Day

Project 365 - March 22

To celebrate the arrival of spring, we spent our weekend afternoons on the lake behind our house.

Really, ON the lake. It's still frozen solid. But the snow on top of it has melted into something resembling a Slurpee and is great fun to slog through and kick onto unsuspecting people. :)

Yesterday we found a spot that was free of snow, and the ice was smooth enough to do some sliding (and falling). As I was bending over to help Jed up to his feet (again), I noticed a leaf in the hard ice, about 2" below the surface...but the surface over the leaf was gone. I reached in and pulled up the leaf, and what was left was a perfect leaf-shaped ice hole. It was magical, and I was sick when I tried to take a picture of it and discovered the camera battery had just died.

We went back to that spot today with a fully-charged camera, but I couldn't find the hole. However, we found some leaf holes in the slushy snow. They aren't quite as stunning as the ice hole, but pretty cool nonetheless. Here's one of them:

This particular hole is about 1" deep.

This is a photo from yesterday, of the spot where we were sliding. Although the inner portion of the ice doesn't look as glassy as the outer rim, it was still pretty slippery. I caught Jed in this shot on his way down (again). :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

That's My Boy

Project 365 - March 21

This boy is growing up fast.

I woke up this morning, looked at the clock and nearly fainted...it was 9:00. I haven't slept that late in years. I heard a slight noise in the livingroom, so I knew Jed was up, and I panicked, wondering how long he had been awake and what the condition of the house might be.

He met me gleefully as I came into the livingroom, eager to tell me he had gotten his own cereal, running into the diningroom ahead of me so he could pose with his handiwork.

He was so proud of himself. What was even more impressive to me was the restraint he exercised in not finishing the job...he didn't pour the milk because he didn't want to spill it.

That apple didn't fall far from his mother's tree. :)

PS - Jed bought this cup and bowl with the $2 bill Miss Debbie sent him for the "Where's George" adventure mentioned here. I think he did a good job choosing something to spend the money on (so the bill could be in circulation). At $1 each, he got a good deal on them, and a nice blend of form and function.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Composition

Project 365 - March 20

This was an unusual music lesson. Not very pretty in tone but quite attractive to see.

We filled 4 glasses with differing amounts of water and tapped a metal rod against each glass to see what difference the amount of water would make in the tone. While we were playing some tunes, Jed got the idea to record the composition. He grabbed 4 markers the same colors as our water and used hash marks to write down each note.

A star is born. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Charmed Life

Project 365 - March 19

It makes my day when I open the mailbox and see a package from my artist friend Debbie. If she had a fan club, I would be the president. I love her work!

She was experimenting with different types of glass-like adhesives recently...Judikins Diamond Glaze and DG3 Art Gel, and Inkssentials Glossy and Sepia Accents...and sent me some of the results of her experiments so I could see the differences between the products.

Luckily for me, the results were these cute charms made with bottle caps, Scrabble tiles and beads. She labeled each charm with the product used, and even threw in a bracelet so I could make one with these little beauties if I wanted. Of course I wanted! :) That's what I did yesterday while Jed was off having fun with Elijah.

It was a great day for both of us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quite a Day

Project 365 - March 18

This was a day of firsts for Mr. Jed, and for me too.

Jed was so excited to be going to his first real birthday party today, which also included bowling for the first time. What a fun way for Elijah to celebrate turning 5!

For me, it was a little less exciting and a little more poignant, watching Jed go off with someone else without me for the first time. However, I can't think of another family I would rather pass this milestone with than the Smiths. And Lori did the nicest thing she could possibly have done for me - she e-mailed pictures shortly after they got home. Thank you!

So, needless to say, I can't take credit for today's photographs. I'm sure you already knew they weren't mine anyway, since they're so good. :) My apologies to the Project 365 creator, but a little boy growing up takes precedence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Pat's Day

Project 365 - March 17

I am the least original person you've ever met.

I have always been aware of this, but it becomes abundantly clear with the arrival of any and all holidays.

I have ideas sometimes, but often I forget them...like buying corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St Patrick's Day today. Or like turning the milk in Jed's breakfast cereal green this morning. He would have liked that.

As it turns out, though, I hate corned beef. And it's a good thing I didn't use our food coloring for breakfast, because apparently it takes a whole lot of green to color vanilla frosting. Two vials, in fact.

The result was worth it, yes? Okay, so I know the little sugar decorations are lame, but it's the best I can do. At least they came off the paper backing cleanly, so there's no paper clinging to them like usual. :)

On a side note, the astute observer will have noticed that Jed appears to wear this outfit quite often. That would be correct. It is his favorite, and if I don't pick out his clothes myself, he will almost always come downstairs with this one on. Actually, I'm partial to it myself, as I love overalls on little boys. And it kept him from getting pinched today, an added bonus. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Place I'd Rather Be

Project 365 - March 16

This is the place I can usually be found on Monday nights. And there's no place I'd rather be for those 2 hours.

This is where a group of ladies gathers every week to lift up their requests and praises to God in prayer, and to study His Word together.

It is a sweet time of learning and encouragement.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Keeper for Sure

Project 365 - March 15

Jed caught a whopper of a fish! It's a real keeper.

So is Jed. Says so right on the box. :D

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Death by Chocolate

Project 365 - March 14

Tracy was craving chocolate cake last night in the worst way. He was actually considering a run to the grocery store for a fix.

If you know Tracy, you know how much he hates to leave the house. In other words, the situation was desperate.

This is one of the things I love about my husband...he is as addicted to chocolate as I am.

Naturally, I made a cake today.

This is no ordinary cake, however. This is love on a plate. Triple chocolate fudge with homemade chocolate butter frosting.

As much as I love chocolate, that's going just a bit overboard. It's just right in his book.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Project 365 - March 13

Neither of my boys has been a big fan of stuffed animals in general, but both have had a favorite (or two) to sleep with.

Brad's was a cat named Carmichael. He wore that poor cat slap out.

Jed's favorites are Pooh and the blue bear he won at a fair last summer. He's not as sentimental a child as his brother was, so it's especially sweet to see him cuddle these little friends of his. Especially on the days he's had them fighting to the death in some mock battle.

I will never understand little boys. But I sure do love them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Warm Enough

Project 365 - March 12

It is an interesting phenomenon to watch spring creep in in an area where winter reigns supreme. It is in the 20s today, and windy. But 25 degrees in March feels different than 25 degrees in January.

It's the sun.

There's definitely something different about the sunshine these days. It's stronger, brighter, warmer...warm enough to melt snow on a day when it barely gets above freezing.

Warm enough to make even the heart of one who loves winter skip a little with anticipation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Workhorse in the Making

Project 365 - March 11

I had a brainstorm today.

Put Jed to work.

I have these brief flashes of genius once in a while. :)

On a side note, have you ever seen anyone look this content drying dishes?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Riding in Style

Project 365 - March 10

Despite the look of chagrin on his face and the lack of elbow room, Jed still enjoys the ride. I'm trying to learn to do the same.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Purim to You!

Project 365 - March 9

Sunset this evening marked the beginning of the Jewish holiday Purim, which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from the hand of Haman during the reign of the Persian king, Xerxes. The fasinating story of how God used a young Jewish girl to secure that deliverance is recorded in the Old Testament book of Esther.

During Purim, gifts of food are given to friends and family to help ensure everyone has the means to celebrate, and monetary gifts are given for the poor.

My Bible study group happens to be studying the book of Esther at this time, and we celebrated Purim tonight by bringing food baskets to our meeting to exchange. Lori, the mom of Elijah (the young fellow Jed went to Kung Fu with here), the author of one of my favorite blogs (which you can find here), and my first girl date in Maine (and probably my last, after she reads that! ha) made the basket I received.

I couldn't wait to get home and peek into it. I love the scarf bag - so Lori! - and the treasures inside are enough to make grown women and little boys swoon...homemade chocolate-chocolate chip cookies, candies and a jar of Lori's homemade applesauce. What a treat that will be at the end of a long winter!

Happy Purim to us! :) Thanks, Lori.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

How Bizarre

Project 365 - March 7

This thing that happened is so strange, no one who doesn't live in the North would ever conceive of it. I sure wouldn't have before moving here.

I'm taking a stack of boxes out of the garage into my house, a stack so high I can't see over the top of it. It's windy, and the box on top flies off into the driveway, or so I think. I get the rest of the boxes in the house and then go back outside to look for the missing one.

But I can't find it, after looking everywhere. I'm on the porch getting ready to give up and go back in the house, when I spot it...nestled snugly up against the house.

No big deal, right? Wrong. While it is tauntingly close to where I am standing, there is a railing and a huge bush separating us on one side and mounds of snow 4 feet high surrounding it from all other angles (the mountains the plow guys have created at the edges of our driveway).
That's when the absurdity of the situation hits me - I can clearly see the box, but there is no getting to it unless I want to slog through snow up to my chest.

Looks like that box will be out there till Spring.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Boy Who Liked Bling

Project 365 - March 7

Jed got these little boxes for Valentine's Day and loves them. He's actually a bigger fan of bling than I am, but I must admit, when the sun was hitting these little beauties they were really quite striking. So of course I got my camera out to capture the sparkle...and was disappointed to find out that the picture didn't capture the sparkle I could see so clearly.

One thing I'm learning with this photo-a-day project is that what I see with my eye rarely translates to the picture in the same way. It's an interesting phenomenon. I'm learning my camera's limitations, as well as my own.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Edible Bouquet

Project 365 - March 6

Our neighbor from down the street showed up on our doorstep last night bearing this wonderful gift!

The container is a paint can, covered in laminated paper; beads were added to the handle, and the lid is tucked into the top of the bouquet.

The individual candies are wrapped with clear cellophane and then with red. They each look like a flower blossom, the candy being the pistil/stamen and the cellophanes the petals.

Jed has always liked to stop and smell flowers, but I don't think he's ever been as excited about one as he is at this moment. :)

Cute and sweet - it's a winning combination, in bouquets, in neighbors, and in little boys.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

a la Me

Project 365 - March 5

What did you do first thing this morning? Get a cup of coffee? Read the paper? Eat a bowl of cereal? Set up a world class Dominoes trail?

What? You say that isn't part of your normal routine? Mine either.

Nevertheless, that's what was on Jed's mind this morning as soon as he came downstairs, and being the awesome mom that I am (ha), I rose to the challenge, using every single Dominoe in the box. It was a sight to behold, too. And it inspired Jed to build one of his own trails.

Guess what it is? Me.

What? You can't see that? Me either. :)