first day


and 2010

Ben is such a stud muffin.  I know you aren't supposed to say that about your son, but I can because he looks JUST like his dad and I say that about him, too. 

My sweet and snarky Ellie Bell ready and SO excited for 3rd Grade!

My beautiful Mads leaving me for 7th grade.  She and I had a good time together this summer and I will M-I-S-S her.

How does this happen???  They grow soooooo fast

Hello, my name is Amy, and I like taking pictures of my children from behind. 

I am happy Ellie and Ben want to ride the bus this year.  Gives us the chance to 'wake up our bodies' by walking to the stop, 3 blocks away.  It also means I don't have to try and suppress my road rage in the drop-off lanes at school!

last year I wrote a letter to summer vacation.  This year I will write one to my kiddos:

Dear Children of Mine,

     Thank you for not waking at the crack of dawn during summer break.  And, if you did rise early, thank you for foraging in the kitchen until I could drag myself from my comfy nest and make you something more substantial to eat. 

     Thank you for being friends to each other more often than enemies.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your imaginary play and docile requests for an equal turn on the computer/Wii/channel remote.  I will not brag and boast about any superior parenting skills; because I know you all did this to help keep the peace and keep Mommy from sending you off to summer camp.  I hope you continue the amicable behavior through the year because I can always throw in a threat for boarding school.

     Thank you for being content with little to no schedule and lots of free time and play.  Many a day we stayed in our p.j.'s and hung out around the house, eating when we were hungry and doing what we felt like vs. running off to a 'camp' or 'practice' or a 'playdate'. Never once did you complain of missing out.  I think we all learned we like each other as much as we love each other and being in each others' company is the bees knees.  While it was fun to go off on adventures, I could read the relief on your faces when we walked in the door, kicked off our flip flops and commenced to laze and lounge. 

     And finally, thank you for coming home after the first day of school, wrapping your arms around me and saying "We missed you, Mom."

::sniff, sniff::  "Yeah, I missed you guys too."

Love, Mom


national farmers market week

Did you know August 1st-7th of this year is National Farmers Market Week?  Apparently the Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsak ...... who also happens to be a former Governor to my fine state of Iowa, officially encouraged the people of the United States to celebrate the benefits of local, fresh produce. 

FINALLY, someone in a high falutin' position in Washington has their noggin screwed on right.   

What's a proud citizen like myself to do?

You know it.  Grab my (new and fancy and oh so cool) grocery cart, along with the handsome man who purchased it for me, and head on down to the market.  Party on.

1.  Ciabatta (sans olives) from la mie

2.  Colorado rose potatoes from Grinell Heritage Farms and purple fingerling's from Westrum Produce

3.  suyo long cucumber, burpless cucumbers, eggs, wildflower honey, elderflower syrup and cherry tomatoes from BGF

4.  vidalia onions from ......... some sweet older man with a stand

5.  banana peppers from Crooked Gap Farm

6.  my favorite soap in all the world: Herbal Harmony made by Karla Moore and sold by Prairieland Herbs

7.  concord grape jelly from Victoria's Table because Ben really only likes grape jelly on his pb&j's.


lovely lady locks

Tuesday was the day the girls and I have been waiting for all summer ....... the day we had our lovely lady locks bound, trimmed and wrapped up to be mailed and sent off to Locks of Love, LFL. 

I had to straighten both my and Maddi's hair in order to flatten the waves.  Ellie's hair is pretty much how you see it.

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to grow my hair out long enough (minimum of 10 inches) to donate to LFL.  The thing is, my hair is super thick and quite wavy and gets SUPER frizzy with humidity, so growing long is a big pain.  Laziness & lack of hair appointments eventually lead to a decent amount of length, however, and I found my hair was long enough to pull back and tame down.  So I decided I would go for it and commit to going for the required length.

I sat down with Maddi and Ellie at the beginning of the summer and told them all about LFL and how I was getting really close to 10 inches.  I mentioned how awesome it would be if they, too, would donate their long locks to the cause.  We could make a day of it!  All for one and one for all! 


So I had to cajole and guilt them into giving by pulling up the website photos of all the little kids who lost their hair to cancer treatments and other diseases.  Really, though, it didn't take much to get the girls on board with cutting off their tresses.  Besides, they could always grow it back, right?!

from the left:  Me, Maddi and Ellie

The girls and I had a discussion about what we would miss about our long hair:

  1. being able to pull it back into a pony tail

  2. taking silly photos with our hair as mustaches

Things we will NOT miss about our long hair:
  1. clogging up the drain in the shower and having to scrape the hair out
  2. brushing out tangles (Ellie)
  3. spending an hour+ blow drying and then flat ironing in order to have a tame head of hair (Maddi and me)
  4. stinky, almost-moldy smelling hair from putting it up in a pony tail still wet, then not taking it down until 10 hours later
  5. going through large bottles of shampoo and conditioner at break-neck speed
  6. our long hairs found in places they don't belong.  'nuff said.