3/1/11 - 4/1/11

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Nature Through the Eyes of A Child

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Today..I’d like to let my grand-children tell their own story… 

colin walking with a picked flower

Let’s take a walk and see nature…through the eyes… of a child…


Keeping Up When You’re Feeling Down


On Monday, I normally share a big homemaking post..and follow it with a chat from the heart on Tuesdays for tea. But since I'm battling a particularly difficult cold, about the only tea I'll be drinking will be heavily laced with lemon juice. Today, I thought we'd talk about a pretty regular occurrence in most homemaker's lives and a great approach to handling it...over a cup of hot tea.

What I'd like to chat about today, is what I'm going through this week..trying to keep up..while feeling 'down'. 
We all love the idea of keeping house like Martha Stewart or June Cleaver, don’t we? Picture the lovely home, gorgeous figure, stylish dress, well behaved children,  the manicured nails..and our dashing knight arriving home with flowers to greet us with a peck on the cheek. Ahh…homemaking bliss!  But real life does have a way of intruding doesn’t it? It’s not that we never get to enjoy these perks…but usually not all on the same day..and not generally while nursing the baby, cleaning the oven or when we have a cold.


A Day at The Seven Acre Woods with the Grandchildren

 Brennan likes this little fella
We spent the loveliest day at the Seven Acre Woods, in Willis, Tx. It’s just about 20 minutes from our house and is full of wonderful activities for children. They have one of the nicest petting zoos I’ve ever seen, putt-putt golf, swings and little cars for every age, zip lines, jungle gyms, a ‘beached boat’, barrel train, hayrides…and the list goes on and on.  For $6.00 a piece, we thought it was a great bargain. We spent most of the day there!
(This fee didn’t include the hayride and barrel train ride.)
  frisky baby goat   
Colin meets a goat petting goats
The goats just made me laugh with their friendly antics. Colin loved them!
cute goat

The people who put this place together..it covers seven acres…really designed it to be enjoyable for all ages from tiny tot to mid-teenagers. There was so much to do, that I thought I share just the petting zoo. The children LOVED it so much.
Nikolai likes the donkeyNikolai pets the goat

What are we looking for

Nikolai is entranced with animals and the little goats were so tame and friendly that they didn’t mind at all is energetic hugs.
For some reason the donkey was really attracted to Nikolai!
Here horsey!

Brennan helped me feed the llamas, ponies, and the chickens. I’ve never seen such plump chickens!
They were laying eggs where the children could easily see the days ‘collection’.
feeding time

feeding lamas
Brennan loved feeding the llamas. They are ‘delicate’ eaters. :o)
If you ever wanted your children to experience farm life, this is the place to go! They had calves, chickens, ponies, llamas, goats, and deer too.  It’s a family owned and operated place. A 12 yr.old was busy playing with the newest baby goat when we arrived. One of his jobs, was just to love on these sweet animals who had a gorgeous home in the play area..plus a large pasture to be in when off duty..on the back of the property.
Funny..I never made it into the photos. I was taking them. These were all taken by my cell phone! Can you believe it? My battery went out with the first photo. My phone is new and I had no idea how good the photos would turn out.

Grandpa holds Brennan
Well, I do hope you enjoyed this ‘day’ with the grandkids. There’s just something so sweet about children and petting zoos.
(Well…I have to admit, I rather love petting zoos myself. :o)

PS. You can see all the photos on my facebook album here.


Nature’s Surprises


Nature has such a funny way of pulling a ‘fast one’ on us don’t you think? I love seeing moths who are the masters of disguise. I’ve taken photos of this kind before, but Christian got an absolutely stunning shot of a moth this week. 

leaves in the sidewalk

In fact, I think he was really in stellar form this week. Some of his photos were really striking—I thought.  Teenagers can get in some positions that we older moms just don’t even think to try. :o) 

He once stood atop a fence post just to take a shot from straight down. That I simply cannot do. Ha! I assume he took this one while lying on the ground. What do you think?  I love the texture of these leaves! And the perspective. I love leaves period. :o)

moth from back

Frankly nature photography, like all good photography, really requires a dash of ‘thinking outside of the box’. Young people seem to do this naturally. 

 ant carries bloom2

And sometimes it just requires getting down on ‘nature’s level’ which includes eye level. This can be challenging while taking photos of a leaf cutter ant. How I wish they didn’t love my redbud tree quite so much!

percy bothered percy surprised 

Apparently, Percy was also taken surprise by something..but it wasn’t by nature..it was a toddler..i.e. Nikolai, my grandson. The pets have taken to hiding in the oddest places..as have some of my oldest teenagers. Rebekah said, “I didn’t realize that children could be quite so loud.” Ha-If she only knew! Once upon a time..SHE was that child. LoL!

drinking cardinal cardinal looking cardinal takes bath 

I apologize for the lack of quality of the photos here..done by me, but it’s not easy to get a good shot of a cardinal deciding on whether or not he wants to take a bath in public, without a little blur. I used a tripod and it still wasn’t quite enough. I was just too far away. But it is fun to watch this little guy gradually decide to ‘get in’ the pond. Perhaps the water was chilly. Who knows?

yellow flowering clover

I love these photos of tiny flowers Christian found blooming in the grass.
Beauty shows up in the most surprising places! 

purple wildflower  weeds flowering

Our part of Texas is famous for wildflowers. Already, the sides of the roads are covered even in the few days since these photos were taken.

Our white bushes in bloom

And the white bushes are in full bloom…next week, you’ll see the green bushes covered in pink and white flowers. They’ve bloomed since I took this photo.  


Colin, my oldest grandson,  found the tiniest inchworm at the park yesterday. He was fascinated!


Christian went looking for geckos but couldn’t find any. I went looking and found one, but couldn’t get him in a photo in time before he disappeared. Christian took this photo instead. I loved it!  

Nature is always full of surprises!

Linking with Tracie’s Cottage Flora Thursday



Today at our house….Bathtime in Grandma’s special hooded bath towel!

Bathtime in Grandma's bath towel Bathtime Colin DSC06173


Fabulous Hand Painted Batiks…by McKenna Ryan

Small version of Colorado Rockies

This picture is of a 1 1/2’ by 2’ wall hanging I made to ‘practice’ the 3 foot by 5 foot wall hanging, I’m designing for my friend, Kim. It’s called the Colorado Rockies. The colors in these fabrics perfectly match the daring colors in Kim's home...deep purple, rich gold, vivid green...

Scenic fabrics

Just this week the hand painted fabric from Batiks Plus (designed by artist McKenna Ryan)  that I ordered for my project arrived. Oh my..these fabrics are just about to ‘die’ for! I told Kim that though they are very expensive ($12.50 per yard) that for a fabric art piece..you couldn’t ask for anything more perfect.

forest for a moutain range

 Forest scene to be used for a closer range of hills

sand in my shoes.
This is called Sand in my Shoes…It will be used for sky.

She knows very little about quilts or fabric art, but trusted my judgment. I was so nervous..you sure don’t want to buy too much..but you need to have enough. This is just step five in the process which started over a year ago.
 forest and border
      for fields of heather
golden meadows
Gold for the meadow

I’ve done the research, computer mockup, a fabric mock up (above), drawn the true size pattern and it’s ready to cut out. Ordering the fabric was the next step. 

hand painted batiks patterned
Heather covered hills, meadows, forest, and border

Next step will be to ‘practice’ some 3-dimensional ‘texturing’ (rather than quilting) to give the effect of mountains, heather covered hills, meadow, running water..fluffy clouds etc. 

wood fur and trees
Deer Skin, Forest Range, Wood Grain for Fence Posts

Some details are not shown here like the deer grazing and the rough hewn fence posts with barbed wire.  All in good time…  I’m not working on it this week as I have my grandbabies here as you know. I’ve also developed a cold.  I’ve had ‘spring break’ company since last week so I haven’t gotten to visit near as much as I’d like to, and do apologize for that.

blue river
Blue Mottled Fabric for River Water

purple hills
Another purple for a hills…

Thanks so much for your sweet comments this last two weeks when I haven’t had much computer time to reciprocate. You’ve blessed me so much!  I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress…and hopefully, this will be ready for the October art show that Shona hosts. In fact I hope it’s done by May..but we do have a graduating child this year.   Life never slows down does it?

purple moutains majesty
Three shades of mottled purple for the mountain ranges in the back.

Even if you don’t sew, I was pretty sure you would enjoy seeing this incredible fabric. Is there any one who doesn’t just LOVE beautiful fabric? Sigh…I just want to stare at it some times. :o)  Do enjoy this little ‘sneak peek’ at my fabric art project in progress.

Have a lovely week!

Today at Our House...a Trip to the Park

 Flowers for Grandma...(me!)

Brennan and Colin

 Amanda and Nikolai

Uncle Christian and the grandsons explore...
“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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