Saturday, April 23, 2011

in my backyard

There are so many pretty sights and smells going on in the backyard right now. Let's take a little walk around the yard.

In the island we have this. We don't know what this is. When the shoots first started, Greg thought it was the garlic he planted after it started sprouting in the kitchen.

When it first started to bloom, I told him that I didn't know garlic had such pretty flowers. And I'm thinking these are too big now to be garlic. But, what do I know, right?

Then I remembered that on impulse he bought some bulbs one day while he was shopping for other yard stuff. Was that last year? Or the year before? He usually keeps careful record of what we plant. But this impulse was left unrecorded.

Regardless, we have a few of these pretty little plants in the island that smell good too. I'm thinking maybe it's some sort of iris.

Last year we planted vines around the posts of the pergola. One of them is a honeysuckle vine. Oh, sweet honeysuckle. The smell reminds me of being a child and living in Texas for a few years. Our neighbors had these trailing all over the fence that separated our yards. We used to spend idle time sucking the nectar out of the flower.

Apparently, Greg used to do the same thing as a child.

So we stood out there the other night, trying to relive the past & find that elusive nectar. Nothing. We tried several different ways only to be left unrewarded.


Oh well, they still smell reminiscently beautiful.

We also have jasmine vines working their way up the posts. These have a different olfactory memory for us.

Greg and I were married outdoors in the month of May. All around the gazebo, jasmine bushes were abundant and in full bloom. When I smell them I am reminded of that sweet day I married the love of my life!

The daisy bushes are working on being fully covered in flowers. Such a simple, easy to take care of bush with a very pretty result!


Friday, April 22, 2011

here's a sign

Greg's cousin, Kayla, got married last Saturday. It was such a gorgeous wedding. We had a nice time catching up with family members we don't get to see very often and those we do see more often. Everyone was dressed up with somewhere to go!

For their wedding gift, I wanted to make something just for them. I wanted it to be personal. I thought this sign would be a perfect addition to the new house they bought and are fixing up.

I do have to confess ~ I totally copied this idea from Sasha at Lemonade Makin' Mama. I wasn't sure what colors they used to decorate their house, so I picked colors that I think will go with just about anything. Pretty neutral.

I love the soft blue of the background and how it takes on a subtle & worn look when I antiqued it.

We had a chance to visit Kayla's new house this week. The colors of the sign are just right and will look awesome in their new home.

I pretty much love how the sign turned out!

So, why stop there! I'm on a roll. While Greg was cutting the length of the wood down for me, I had him cut a few other lengths as well.

For this sign I used the same colors again. I added more of the scroll work behind the letters.

This sign will be perfect for a kitchen, dining room, or anywhere else people eat. I distressed and antiqued it. It's a little bit shabby and a whole lot of chic!

I already started another one with a different (yet equally neutral) background color. What should it say? Any ideas? Leave your ideas in the comments!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

because we are classy like that

You know that I am all about being a little more green and doing what we can to be nicer to the planet, right? The kids and I usually take cloth napkins in our lunch. We try to use containers in our lunches rather than plastic baggies. We do what we can.

I am especially all for being a little more green when it requires little or no work on my part. For a while now, the kids have been saving soda cans and redeeming them at the recycling center for cash for the ice cream man. They are learning about recycling, responsibility, and that hard work can sometimes be rewarded with monetary gains. Plus we don't have to shell out money for the ice cream man! Little is required of me except to nag remind them to take the cans to the big bins in the garage on a regular basis. Once we have several trash bags full of cans, the kids crush them to take them to the recycling center.

To crush them, the kids set them up on the driveway. Um, yeah, we might drink a lot of soda. Then the crushing can begin.

This time, their buddy, Austin helped out. After the cans are set up, the kids sit in the grass and watch the show. (Oh my! Check out those filthy knees!)

Daddy does the crushing! He drives up the driveway and back, crushing the cans with his truck. The kids scream in delight as the truck comes closer. I'm the lookout. I make sure the kids stay where they are supposed to.

This time we had a little audience because Greg's mom, his grandma, and Danny happened to be at our house. They were alternately amazed and amused. Greg told his mom how his dad used to do this to help him and his sister crush cans when they were little. She had no recollection of this event taking place in her driveway. Danny? He just thinks we are all nuts!

After the truck was done, the kids finished off the job with their scooters. Really, no additional cans were crushed, but they had a good time screaming their way through the pile.

Me? I just kept taking pictures and more pictures. I'm about to get that look from Greg because I keep getting closer and he knows that all photos may potentially end up all over the internet. Here he's still amused by me, but I'm pushing my luck. Hee hee.

Since the cans now have sharp edges, Greg shovels them in the bag while the kids hold it open. Five or six big trash bags of cans were crushed and fit back into just one trash bag. The kids made out with $17.55 for their efforts these past few months. I think I hear the ice cream man.

And yes, the irony that we are using up perfectly good diesel fuel to crush cans to be kinder to the environment is not lost on me. Maybe one day we will invest in one of those crushers that hangs on the wall. But for now, this is fun that can't be missed.


Monday, April 18, 2011

tales from the schoolyard

Here I am in my much anticipated return to blogging (hmpf).  I thought I'd kick off our spring break week with a few tales from the schoolyard. With moving from a year-round schedule back to a nine-month schedule and Easter being so late this year ~ the students and teachers are very much in need of a break. We spent the last few weeks in survival mode ~ counting the days ~ and there may have been just a few testy moments.

However, this particular moment is one for sharing:

At the end of the day, during clean up time, a student comes up to me to share something.

Student:  Mrs. Robinson, I eat carrots like junk food.

Me:  Oh yeah? Do you know what carrots are good for?

Student:  Uh-huh, your eyes. (pause) So I usually make sure I eat an even number of carrots ~ for each eye.

I had a good belly laugh from that little guy.  He made my day.

Our weather has been unseasonably cold and unseasonably warm ~ sometimes in the same week for the past month or so. I have worn capris and sandals in the same week as my winter coat and gloves! The air conditioning and heater at school is controlled by our central school district office. {They don't trust us?}

Getting the right type of air flow through the vents is apparently pretty tricky because one particular afternoon the air should have been on. It wasn't. During math in the afternoon I started getting that dizzy, nauseous feeling. I was being bugged by the fact that my hair was touching me! I needed a ponytail holder.

I rummaged through my purse. Nothing.

I rummaged through my desk. Nothing.

I am usually better prepared for these sorts of things. I sent one of my students to Heather's room to see if she had one in her backpack. {My students are no longer phased by my unusual requests!} Nothing. I was forced to use an office supply rubber band. Boys, ask any girl and they will tell you this is a hair no-no and painful to remove.

The next morning after a meeting, I found this pony and note on my desk. Heather made sure to bring one to school just for me in case I needed it later. It's now sitting in my desk for the day I have emergency pony needs. I'm willing to bet she has a spare in her backpack too.

One of my students is absent a.l.o.t. Her parents claim she is sick every time, complete with a fever.


I think she has an acute case of I'm-spoiled-and-don't-want-to-go-to-school-itis. She was absent twice last week. After the first absence, I got this note.

Please excuse {Absent Allthetime} from school Tue. 12th She stubbed her big toe and counldnt put pressure on it.

First off, maybe mom needs to come in for a little lesson in punctuation. Secondly, really? That's funny ~ she was walking just fine on Wednesday even with closed toe shoes.

Here's to a great spring break! I promise not to stay away so long this time.