Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Advent


This time last year I was struggling my way through the newborn haze (and a bit of postpartum depression). I was panicked over money (even though Doug had been blessed with a good job) and freaking out about having to go back to work and leaving my new baby.  It took so much away from our Advent season, we had been given so much and here I was worrying about all the wrong things. 


It's so in my nature to think of the worst.
That is NOT something I want to pass along to my kids.
So I'm taking time to savor these Advent days and make them special.

Oh, I'm still worrying about money and working
and being away from my family...


 but I'm enjoying seeing this season through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the very first time! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

And it ONLY took 18 years...


I finally got a Christmas card picture of the kids where everyone is looking at the camera and no one is crying! 
Truly a Christmas MIRACLE!

Check out our previous Christmas card debacle photo sessions
HERE
and HERE!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful...



Dear God,

Thank you for this beautiful life, 
and forgive me if I don't love it enough.


Happy Thanksgiving
from the Creamer Family!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

An "OMG" moment...


Nothing like looking through old family photos 
only to discover that you were the 
ORIGINAL 
Honey Boo Boo!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My life is reflected in my garden

October is such a busy time of year for the Creamer family.  It never fails, I so much want to enjoy these lazy days of Fall but it seems like it's always go-go-go.  Having a toddler in the house again is keeping all of us on our toes, she is one busy girl!  The boys have their activities and interests that send them in a million different directions (most of them away from me!), and Doug has gone back to school.  Plus, I have this little gig called a full time job that leaves me exhausted and in pain most days.  
It's a "growing" season for the Creamer Clan!

My healing medicinal herbs are taking off with this cooler weather!  And like a salve to the soul, a good Confession does wonders!  I've been in a spiritual funk lately.  I work every weekend and do not get to attend Mass...and I feel it.  But Doug and I went to Confession together yesterday and it restored my soul.  It's time to do a little "prunning and weeding" to get ready for the upcoming Advent season. 


And I couldn't end this post without a picture 
from the pumpkin patch!

It is where my heart lies these days.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy birthday, John Paul!

Now it's JP's turn! 
Happy birthday to our sweet and funny John Paul!

 We had a lazy afternoon lunch and shopping 
for birthday presents, it was perfect!

I took this picture of JP being, well, JP.  And thanks to Pinterest, I scribbled some of the things he is all about right now at eleven years old.  I hope to do this with all the kids 
(and wish I had discovered it sooner!)


We came home and had a nice dinner with Doug's mom and dad and then dove into lemon LEGO cake.

I think the smile on his face says it all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting ready for flu season


Instead of getting a flu shot this year, I am stocking the pantry with an arsenal of healing herbs and vitamins:

Mullein and garlic oil for earaches.

Dried mullein leaves for tea.  Mullein is great for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, colds, coughs, and sore throats. Mullein tea has anti-bacterial properties that can help to reduce inflammation and infection. It is also a natural expectorant that can expel excess mucus from the airways.

Honey and garlic are like antibiotics.  They carry multiple antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.

Elderberry syrup/tincture is an especially strong immune system booster!  We try to take it daily in a little juice.  Studies have shown that it is better at combating the flu than Tamiflu!

Astragalus root helps increase white blood cell count, stimulate growth of antibodies and elevate body’s resistance to bacteria and viruses.

And mega doses of vitamins C, D-3, and zinc round out our cold and flu arsenal.

I'll also be supplementing our diets with probiotics in the forms of kefir and apple cider vinegar.

We've done really well in past years using these remedies and I am hopeful that we'll be flu/cold free this season as well!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Our precious girl turns ONE!









Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated Mary Grace's first birthday with us!  And God bless our Mary Grace with many more happy birthdays!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A birthday party on the cheap

Mary Grace will be turning one in a little over a week. We always have a big first birthday party, but with finances so tight, I was beginning to rethink that idea. 

 Thank goodness for Pinterest!

After a visit to the thrift store, I was able to make two cake stands for a little less than eight dollars.

I found these two sweet plates for a steal at .75 each. They are nice, big, sturdy, and best of all vintage.  I used a candle holder for the base of one and a candy dish for the base of the other.  I glued them together using E-6000 epoxy.


After the glue dried, I spray painted them upside down with a matching yellow.


I also came across some additional fabric at the thrift store and made yards and YARDS of bunting to hang everywhere.  I used up most of my fabric stash for the bias tape and bunting and made out like a bandit ~ $3.00 for over 30 yards!  I don't think you could by streamers for that price.

 I'm not big on "themes" but I'm definitely sensing a vintage feel for this party.


Old plates and vintage fabrics...why not!
Mary Grace IS my daughter, 
surely she'll love them as much as I do!

More party projects to come, stay tuned.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Taking time to smell...

the lemon verbena and basil!

I had cut these two back to the ground a few weeks ago thinking that their summer glory was gone.

I was wrong.

All they wanted was a good cutting back!  Now I am enjoying them all over again.  It smells divine in my kitchen right now and the kids want to know what I'm cooking.

So what if school work is getting started a little late this morning.  We are taking time to enjoy the little things today!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pickled peppers

The one thing the bugs left alone this summer were my pepper plants. Almost daily I can harvest baskets of these fiery goodies. My jalapeno plants are especially prolific:


My oldest two and I love spicy foods.
I found a tutorial online for a wonderful pickled pepper to use up all those jalapenos.  It's so good that we've already gone through two quarts of them!


If you like pickled peppers, you'll love this recipe!
Rinsing the peppers after cutting really does take a lot of the "bite" out of them and lets the flavor come through.




10 large jalapeno peppers, sliced
1 tbsp sugar 
3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp kosher salt (I doubled this amount)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic (doubled this, too!)


Monday, September 17, 2012

The last of the summer sewing

Thursday evening I finished the last of three tunic dresses for little Mary Grace. I used THIS PATTERN that I got off of Etsy.  I made the 18mo. size even though MG turns one next month.  They are a little big right now (looking more moo-moo than tunic) but in six or seven months they will be perfect for spring!


I used fabric from my vintage sheet stash and I think they came out simply darling!


They even have pockets, which will be perfect for stashing Cheerios in!

Have I mentioned lately that having a little girl is really FUN?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Busy...

Sorry I have been absent from this space, but managing a family of seven has been kicking me in the butt lately!

It's a usual September, we are getting back in the routine of homeschooling, chores, and kid's activities.  Doug has decided to go back to school as well and that has been an adjustment.  Work is killing me, as usual....and I'm continuing to pray to win the lottery!

It's the simple day to day events of life.
I'm not complaining, but a nap every now and then sure would be nice!

I hope to get back here soon.  I have some wonderful projects to share.

TTFN!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm in LOVE with Luffas!

Every year I try to grow something "different" in the garden. This year I tried my hand at growing Luffa...and I am in LOVE!


Luffa are technically gourds and can be eaten while young and tender.  They say they taste like squash.  I'm not in them for the food value, I want them for scrubbing.  Scrubbing dishes, cars, people, anything that cannot tolerate steel wool.  I also hope to include them in some handmade Christmas gifts this year.


Growing luffa is really easy but you must have two things, a long growing season and support.  I planted two seeds underneath a huge trellis that Kyle built for me.  They outgrew the trellis in a week and have now taken over the side of my house!  One thing that just happened to work out beautifully was planting sunflower seeds next to them.  As the mammoth sunflowers grew to the height of the roof, the luffa vines were just getting started.  By the time the sunflowers had thick, sturdy stalks the luffa found them and grew right to the top.


Now the sunflower is spent, head harvested for seeds, and the stalk remains a strong support for the new luffa growing.  Yeah, it looks like crap on the side of the house, but up close it's beautifully awesome!


They've even taken over my bathroom window.  But with at least six more growing in that spot, I'm not taking the vines down any time soon!


I recommend drying the luffa right on the vine.  The green skin becomes a dried up brown color and if you shake the fruit you can hear the seeds rattle inside.  Once thoroughly dried, they were very easy to peel.  


Our luffas are super soft and smell like freshly mown hay.  I know that we will be growing these for many seasons to come.