Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bedtime BFFs

Naps are always better shared with a friend.

Adventures in Accidental Agriculture

LOOK!! I have my first pumpkin!!

And another one is well on its way to making its place in this little plot of Harvest Land, USA.

Look at how gigantic this plant is! My daughter planted it a little over a month ago and it has multiplied in size so much so that it's taking over!

There's only one problem....

...this plant is not growing freely in some fenced off designated area for pumpkins in the garden we share with my mom in her backyard. No, it's growing in my front yard. More specifically, in my intricately manicured bed by my front door. If I don't keep it pushed out of the way, you literally have to step over it to get to the front door.

This was not a successfully planned and executed endeavour at gardening.
It was, as honestly as I can put it, a total accident.
My daughter got seeds from her teacher the last day of school and in overhearing mommy and daddy talking to nana about growing our own fruits and veggies, I think my little JB decided to take this whole gardening thing into her own little "green" hands.
When it began growing, we had no idea what it was at first.
I thought my landscapers had planted a new ground cover.
My husband thought it was a weed.
We were left in the dark concerning our mystery plant until we had visitors come and those visitors were so impressed with our squash and how well ours was doing and wanted to know our secret to getting it to thrive so.
All they got from me and Mr. Simpleton were puzzled looks. 
"You do know that's squash, right?" they would ask us.
"Oh, uh, yeah! Well, no, no not really. We knew it was something but....are you sure it's squash?" 
All we got in return was a you've-got-to-be-kidding-me look.
My neighbors on the other hand, (we live in a supremely manicured and polished neighborhood *said with a strong British accent and a pinky finger held high clutching a Mint Julep*), have been less impressed with our green thumb. 
"Ahem, your pumpkin squash looks, uh, like it's doing well. Do you, uh, intend to keep it there?"
Gag me.
Yes, for now we do intend to let them run amuk in our front yard. And I'll be bringing you all pumpkin pies in a month. So take your nose and your mint julep back to your own front yard.
Looks like the Mason abode is well on our way to a healthy harvest in autumn!
Come on over for some pumpkin pies!
And pumpkin bread....
and pumpkin cookies...
and pumpkin soup...
and pumpkin pancakes...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Post-it Note Tuesday!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Satirical Saturday: "Creepiness Never was Sexiness"

To the middle-aged man at the pool with the tan that screams "Orange Juice parade!": Although you have no doubt been to the gym to work on your biceps (which by the way, is the only thing working to your advantage), the fact that you stare at me from across the pool while rubbing yourself down with oil (as if your hair didn't have enough) does not make me want to pull a Pamela Anderson and fulfill your *gag* fantasies of me running over to you to perform pretend rescue mouth-to-mouth.

The word "creepy" is an adjective that follows you around like dog poo on a sneaker. No matter where you go, there's that annoying stench that no amount of grass-rubbing can scrape off. So, forgive me if I don't fall off my lawn chair in a hazy daydream of frolicking together in a grassy meadow. However, this word is italicized, bold, and in the largest font possible when referring to you considering you seem to be oblivious to the fact that I am sitting in the kiddie section with my 4 children while you try to use your imaginary X-ray vision to burn a hole through my mono-kini.

Word of advice, a good sheering before jumping in the public pool would benefit not only you, but the pool drains...(not to mention our gag reflexes).

And drop the cheesy swan dive into the pool with the dramatic tricep flex out. It's only 4 feet where you dive off and......on second thought, why not try diving a little deeper next time?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rainy Day Craft-a-thon

Hooray for rainy days that give my crew a break from the city pool every now and again!The pool was closed due to the looming threat of foul weather so we stayed home and made things using our imaginations!

First, we pretended to be mad scientists... creating strange humanoids using old magazine pictures...

Garrett's finished zombie: Giant Bob

Julia's finished droid: Charli

And I had to make one, too! Meet Flexi-Girl. Stylish Sweetheart by day and Solid Rockstar by night! (My life in a nutshell).

And, since I was using my imagination today I figured I'd combine my recent adventures in frugality and today's burst of creative energy to rid myself (and my bedroom floor) of those orphaned socks. You know the pile? The one that keeps mutating to a big giant striped cotton monster (I actually had no idea how much we apparently love striped socks until today).

I have an art studio full of craft supplies that were feeling neglected lately so I hauled those out.

And this is what came of it all! "Sombrero the Dog" by Garrett

"Snake" by Garrett

Julia's Bird Dog. It's a bird and a dog mixed together. Pretty cute. (And no, it's not a dirty sock, I promise.)

A baby seal by Julia.

I think they liked them. What do you think?

I wasn't finished with mine but the kids wanted to take a picture anyway: This is Zaffe Girebra.

Needless to say, we had a blast!! Maybe it'll rain tomorrow? *fingers crossed*

"I Will Make My Hands Like Those of Galilee"

Last night I substituted for our Achievement Day teacher at church. I chose to teach on Service and wanted to bring that into light by focusing on the girls' hands. (I like for my lessons to involve activities that teach and are attention grabbers. My philosophy is if I do better with lessons with activities or visual aids, I can only imagine how much better a child does in the same scenario).
We began by giving ourselves manicures...

The finished manicures, (minus the french white tip painted on since my white nail polish pen dried out, grrr!).

While we waited on their nails to dry I read them one of my favorite songs, "His Hands". It just so happens that this song coincides perfectly with Mark Mabry's photography from his book Reflections of Christ, so I flipped through that at the same time.

From there the girls wrote down as many items of service as they could think of that they themselves could do this next week. Whoever named the most got a bottle of hand sanitizer reminding them that just as hand sanitizer purifies your hands, so does a loving act of service purify a heavy soul.
We discussed how service made us feel and why we like to do it, but also that it's not always easy. I reminded them that Christ's life was engulfed in Service, including His ultimate service of the Atonement.
The lyrics to my favorite song are as follows:
"From the days on His mother's knee,
like no other before,
He was all that a boy should be.
Then, the boy became the man.
Hosanna to God and the Lamb!
His hands, tools of creation, stronger than nations,
power without end. And yet through them
we find our truest friend.
His hands,sermons of kindness, healing men's blindness,
halting years of pain.
Children waiting to be held again.
His hands, warming a beggar, lifting a leper,
calling back the dead.
Breaking bread, five thousand fed.
His hands, hushing contention, pointing to heaven,
ever free of sin.
Then, bidding men to follow Him.
His hands would serve His whole life through,
showing man what hands might do.
Giving, ever giving, endlessly.
Each day was filled with selflessness
ad I'll not rest till I make of my hands
what they could be,
'till these hands become like those of Galilee.
His hands, clasped in agony as He lay pleading,
bleeding in the garden,
while just moments away, other hand betray Him
out of greed, shameful greed.
And then His hands are trembling, straining to carry
the beam that they'd be nailed to.
As He stumbles through the streets, heading for the hill
on which He'd die, He would die,
they take His hands,
His mighty hands,
those gentle hands,
and then they pierce them.
He lets them because of love.
From birth to death was selflessness
and clearly now I see Him with His hands calling to me.
And though I'm not yet as I would be,
He has shown me how I could be.
I will make my hands like those of Galilee."

I had fun teaching the girls again (this used to be my calling before I was called to Seminary teacher) and I hope they walked away with an invigorated excitement for service.
Or at least with a better understanding of the great service that was given to them long before they were ever born.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays: "Never fails..."

Why?, originally uploaded by cmason79.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Post-it Note Tuesday!

Never French Braid at Breakfast

I have been inspired lately by a friend of mine's cute blog. She has a video tutorial on this cute little hairstyle and watching it gave me the itch to try it out. (But you know how that is, typically you watch the video or read the instructions, see how easy the project is and think to yourself  'Yeah, I can do that!', all while nodding your head in cheerleader-style pep rally mode. Then, upon trying and failing ump-teen times you decide instead that your time is better spent screaming in a pillow.)
But not this time. Heather at Gerber Days has this tutorial for a front braid that seemed so easy I decided I had to try it and found it WAS that easy! I have been doing it on my girls' hair for weeks now and they love it because it keeps their hair out of their face without the typical spastic ponytail. It requires a little french braiding know-how, (which I have none of, by the way and I still managed to pull it off). Here's the kicker: because I could do this style, I decided I wanted to try my hand at french braiding again (trusty screaming pillow was close at hand).
I called my youngest daughter over and told her my plan with a gleam in my eye and hairbrush in hand.
She stared at me with this look of "Not again, mom. Don't you know by now that you suck at french braiding?"
She's usually very bubbly and up for any kind of new adventure.
This time she hung her head, sighed and spun around in extreme slow motion hoping to delay the inevitable mommy breakdown.
I cleared my throat and began brushing.
My 6 year old son, who is just now deciding to climb out of bed at 10 am in the morning, comes clumsily trudging down the stairs.
"Morning, mom...oh." He sees I have a brush in hand and gives Julia a pity look.
Julia shrugs her shoulders.
I roll my eyes.
"Mom," Garrett asks, "what can I have for breakfast?"
"How about cereal, Boy. You'll have to get it yourself this morning." My hands were tangled in 3 sections of hair at the moment.
I hear him rummaging through the pantry. A box of cereal falls to the ground and I hear the crackle of cereal bits on the floor.
"Oops" he says.
I have successfully untangled my fingers and continue braiding making a mental note to sweep the pantry after I'm done.
Garrett is now in the kitchen getting the milk. A Tupperware container falls from the top shelf of the fridge.
"I'll get that," he states.
I'm halfway through the braid and it's looking good so far.
Boy pours the milk on his cereal and proceeds to put the newly opened gallon jug back in the fridge. The same Tupperware container falls out again. This time, it opens. I pause, cringing at the sloshing mess I hear in the next room.
"I got this, Mom!" This time he uses his confident voice. The one which says 'there's a mess in here but I don't want you to see it so I'm gonna play it off like it's no big deal and hopefully clean it up before you see what kinda damage was really done'.
I was stuck between the final few braids and curiosity as to the catastrophe in the kitchen.
I hear him get a spoon from the drawer but he accidentally catches his finger in the drawer and I hear a half laughing "OW!" from him. "I'm ok!" he giggles.
"You ok, Boy?", I ask just in case.
"Yep", again with the confidence. 
Another few braids and I'm home free. The hair is getting shorter and shorter in the back (she has a bob that has grown out a little so I wasn't even sure if it would work).
I managed to get the last strands of hair into the ponytail and tie it off.
I paused momentarily to look at what I had created. Julia stood completely still, possibly because she wasn't sure if I was happy or about to grab the screaming pillow and begin hitting my head against the wall.
I spun her around to see the front. That would be the tell-tale sign of success.
What stood before me was perfection.
I had FRENCH BRAIDED!! (echo, echo, echo)
I felt like donning a cape and going out to all the world french braiding for every girl!
Garrett, who has finished his cereal, drops his bowl into the sink and it crashes other dishes down.
"Nothing broke!" he says.
I am jolted out of my daydream and back to the reality that I'm probably the only mom in the world who didn't know how to french braid till now. [hangs cape up]
Post-Breakfast Damage Control reporting for duty...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lovely Lazy Sunday

Lovely Lazy Sunday, originally uploaded by cmason79.

There is something about coming home from church to a quiet house, a comfy couch and a cute hunk of man that really makes me realize how lucky I am.
I have a family that is eternal.
I have a husband who is super sweet and just so happens to be sexy, too.
I have 4 beautiful children who are the angels of my life.
I have everything and all that I could ever need to pull me through the perils of life and the traps of this world.
I. Am. Blessed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Post-it-Note Tuesday


Sleepy Kitty, originally uploaded by cmason79.

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