I had several peek-a-boo moments pop up in my pictures this past week. I’ve been trying to be more observant of little things around me and it’s been nice to slow down and take a look around. The kids have been enjoying fun activities at school as the school year is starting to wrap up (we’ve only got two weeks left before summer vacation starts. It’s crazy that the year has just flown by like it has!

Paul cut back some of the wildflowers since they only bloom once and then need to be cut back. In the bare spot, he planted some really pretty flowers that he got from Lowe’s. I was curious as to what they were called, so I took a picture and uploaded it to an app I have on my phone. The app said that it’s called scarlet sage, and while it traditionally comes in red, they have been able to cultivate other colors like the vibrant purple that you can also see in the picture.
Peek-a-boo! I was sitting on the couch reading while she was playing. After a bit, I felt like I was being watched. It turns out I was! I made her these binoculars out of some paper cups I had laying around and apparently they are perfect for spy situations.
Peek-a-boo! I walked out onto the back patio and spotted this guy on Paul’s workbench. I had startled him, so he flared his dewlap at me, but didn’t run. I snuck back out for a quick picture.
Abigail had a bit of a rough start to school back in August. Rules and routines are HARD, y’all…especially when nobody your size (including you) has been socialized hardly at all because of a pandemic that started when you were toddlers. Her teacher recognized that she has been trying really hard to learn how to be kind to her friends, how to follow the school rules, and how to balance her time between work and play. Abigail was super proud to show me her medal and certificate. πŸ’•
I love listening to her as she’s making up little stories with her toys.
Peek-a-boo! This time, I caught him on the back of Paul’s office. That’s why he’s brown in this picture, I think (they can change from brown to green).
One last peek-a-boo! I think he had just climbed out of the mint plants and was chilling on the wheels of Paul’s push cart. I love how vibrant he is here!
With the summertime temps already hitting us hard, frozen custard is a great way to cool down. 😁
A good friend gave me some soap that she made. The bathroom smells really good and I’m set up for quite a while!
Plus, look at the cute mold she used!
The little container I’m using as a soap dish came in a pack of four. I was trying to think of other uses for the other containers and then I thought about my kitchen sink plugs. I like to have them out for convenience, but at the same time, I don’t like them just sitting on the sink. I found the perfect solution!

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

With all of the crazy things happening all around the globe, it’s easy to get downtrodden. It’s easy to feel despair. It’s easy to feel like it all hope is gone. I caught myself feeling a little down, but this last week’s Come Follow Me (which is a spiritual lesson manual for my church) lesson focused a lot about having the strength to keep the faith when faced with adversity. I realized that for me, at least, this meant to search out the little things that give me joy. Take note of the simple things that make me happy. Feel thanks for the wonderful things in my life. I found that the pictures I’ve taken this past week kind of centered around those wonderful things, which is a great visual reminder that I can go back to look at whenever I want. What a blessing!!

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. I’m so grateful for beautiful flowers (and yummy chocolate)…I’m also grateful for a husband who takes note of the other little things that bring me joy (like earrings and a new phone charger so that I don’t have to go aaaallll the way upstairs to charge my phone) ;). A dear family friend also sent along a fun cookbook that has simple recipes in it that make it possible for me to have the kids in the kitchen with me. I’m looking forward to cracking that sucker open!
“My mom is 5 years old. She has brown hair and brown eyes. My mom is funny when she silly face. I love to play hide and seek with my mom. She is really good at making noodles. My mom’s job is to make food. The thing she says a lot is good night (πŸ˜‚). When I am at school, my mom have a great day. I love my mom because she loves me. And I know she loves me because (blank). If I could get her a gift, I would get her a shopping list (🀣). I love you, Mom! Love, Abigail.”
“My favorite thing to do with my mom is to joke around with her. My mom is really good at cooking. My mom always tells me that I am smart and kind. My mom makes me bacon spaghetti. I love my mom because she makes us good food and she loves me and my family.”
New earrings are a little thing (both literally and figuratively) in my life that make me happy. πŸ™‚
So are photo-bombing ten-year-olds. πŸ˜‰
These are two not-so-little things that bring joy to my life. Their relationship is a little thing that makes me immensely happy. I’m so grateful for the love they have for each other.
Plants are a little thing in my life that bring me joy. Abigail planted a bean in this cup at school and recently brought it home. It’s been fun watching it grow!
Cactus blossoms are another little thing that bring me happiness. They don’t bloom for very long, so it’s a lucky thing to get to spot them.
I’m grateful for a body that works! I’ve been trying to be better to my body (choose better food to eat and getting more exercise). It’s hard on hot days (as is evident in this very sweaty selfie), but it’s very worth it!
Can you spot the little thing in this photo that brought me joy? It’s not the little face on the left (though she brings me tons of joy)…
…it’s this tiny grasshopper! He was so itty-bitty that I almost missed seeing him. He was crawling right toward a spiderweb, so I used a stick to shoo him off. He jumped off the pole and onto my glasses! I carefully took my glasses off and put them close to the ground so that he could hop off.
Fresh jelly (the recipe calls it jam because it’s made from fruit instead of fruit juice, but the consistency and texture are definitely more jelly-like) and fresh rolls are two more little things that bring me joy.
Watching her imagination explode while playing brings me so, so, so much joy. πŸ™‚
She made me a “cake”. πŸ™‚
She had to put it on a “stand” and add “candles”.
One final little thing that makes EVERYBODY happy is homemade cookies in the cookie jar. πŸ˜€ This was the cookie jar that was in my house growing up (my mom sent it home with me one year), so that’s a little nostalgic thing that brings me great joy, too.

Getting Closer to Summer

It’s hard to believe that we’re already done with the first week of May. We’ve got three and a half weeks of school left, we’re keeping busy with little projects, and it looks like the warm weather is starting to set in. Joseph has been reviewing for the yearly standardized test at school, but his teacher made it fun by doing a “Tri-Wizard Tournament” (Harry Potter themed). She even gave them all Harry Potter glasses and wands. Abigail has had some fun themed days (the last 26 days of school have a different theme each day based on a letter of the alphabet) and I even got to spend a bit of time in her classroom on Friday. Paul has been busy at work (as well as helping get some stuff around the house done), and I’ve been busy keeping up with the kids and other typical things.

She decided that for the five minute drive to drop Joseph off at school she needed her puppy, her Squirtle, and her blanket.
Joseph is into “photobombing” right now. πŸ˜€
You know it’s a good day when all the circles are complete before the sun goes down.
I asked Paul if he might be able to build a small table for the entryway so that I could have a place to drop my keys or phone. He said that a shelf would probably be a better idea (to take up less of a footprint). He got some materials at Lowe’s and put this shelf together. It’s perfect!
Abigail’s class picture came in…I think her personality was captured perfectly. πŸ™‚ I also think the photographer must have told the kids to say “cheese” because this is usually the pose she makes when I say the same thing.
We got a mirror for the stairwell to kind of break up the wall (it’s a super tall wall since the loft is open to the stairs) and to help reflect light. It feels a bit less cave-like there now.
Muffins with Mom for Abigail’s class.
I had no idea my love for pasta was so strong! πŸ˜‰
I love these little bits of artwork.
I normally don’t order the spring pictures, but I couldn’t help it with this one. Joseph missed taking spring pictures because he was sick that day, but he’s not a huge fan of taking pictures like this, so there’s no love lost there, haha. Abigail loves doing stuff like this, though, so it was worth getting the picture. πŸ™‚
And so it begins…
She was pretending to be one of the small cats that Puss in Boots trains. I love her imagination!
The bench Paul built several years ago needed a facelift. Instead of sanding it down and re-staining it, he opted to paint it. I think it looks great!