Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Happies


1. I'm making remarkable progress with my flowers in the snow blanket. Those circles took me almost six months to make and now I'm more than halfway through the joining! It's going fast. I can join about three more squares in the next row before my white yarn runs out. I'm waiting for more to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, I have about 47 other projects to work on...but I can't wait to get back to my flowers!



2. We've been churning out perler bead creations. I bought a set of templates with assorted shapes on my famous trip to IKEA and they've sparked new interest in this old standby pastime. They're a great way to pass the hot afternoons.


3. Loom bands continue to entertain as well. We're all sporting multiple bracelets at any given time. Here, the GB's dolls wear bracelets made especially for them. 


4. It must be very satisfying to finish a huge jigsaw puzzle. I wouldn't know, since I do not possess the fortitude (or, frankly, the desire) to do such a thing. But my husband does, and I recently watched him place the thousandth piece of his jigsaw puzzle with great determination.



5. On a recent desperate trying afternoon, I decided to involve the children in a cooking project. In cooler weather, cookies do the trick. But it was in the upper 90's and it seemed completely nuts to turn on the oven. So we made fudge on the stovetop instead. I hadn't made fudge in years, and I'd forgotten how easy and fun it is! I used a basic recipe and the kids were able to help. It came out beautifully. Candy makes everything better.


6. My LB is such a good boy. I could raise ten kids just like him. Okay, I'm exaggerating. But he's a wonderful child. All summer, he has taken it upon himself to practice his guitar every single day. I have never had to remind him. He just really likes it. I signed him up for the next level of guitar lessons, to begin in a few weeks. He'll be going in the evening now! It's his first evening activity. He's getting big and I'm proud of him.


7. Sometimes he can be a real comedian. He likes to give the chickens "a better view" by putting them on top of the swing set frame. Here we have Betty and her giant fluffy butt. The chickens don't seem to mind being up there; they parade back and forth, clucking at all of us below. It's their shot at a bird's-eye view, I guess. And it's a handy way to get them out of the grass when they're free and someone's using the reel mower.



8. I've been putting fresh-cut lavender near my bed again, as I do every summer. Late July is when it really seems to be at its most fragrant; I guess it's had enough sun by now, and a little more water too. I just snip a few stalks from the plants in our front yard and put them in a jar on my nightstand. Lavender is one of my favorite scents. I find it really does relax me. These busy summer days call for a relaxing wind-down in the evenings.

Thanks for the lovely comments lately, and welcome to new readers and followers! You make me happy too. It's been a good week around here. I had a clean bill of health at the dentist - always a relief. I'm reading The Fault in Our Stars because I'd heard so much about it, and because as a former high-school English teacher, I am genuinely curious about what kids are reading. I like it; the characters are believable but I must be getting old because the banter seems weird. I bought a cheap paperback copy and I'll probably pass it on to some younger person - unless they've all read it by now.

Summer break is really winding down now; less than three weeks to go! The small Bears are ready, especially since they'll be going to school together for the first time. They won't have much contact during the day, but I think they like the idea. And I'm sure they'll have their moments when they don't like it too. We're starting to get ready now, with new shoes and school supplies. I'm excited. I don't have any big plans for myself; I'm perfectly happy to keep doing what I do, and besides, our school only entails half a day in the classroom, with the rest taught at home. But it will be nice to have a little more time for myself, to get things done, to exercise and have some time to think. I come and go; some days I feel emotional, other days I can't flipping wait! But the time has come and I know it will be okay.

43 comments:

  1. Your flowers in the snow blanket is looking so pretty! My kids used to love doing the perler beads too.
    The fudge looks yummy - except for the nuts. :)

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  2. I can so relate to the up and downs of emotions when thinking about the upcoming school year! And I Love that your little guy practices every day on his own! How fantastic is that! And oh my fudge! It looks delicious friend! Wonderful happies here! Life is good!! Nicole xoxo

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  3. It is fun to read how some things are so international :-)
    Loom bands. Ironing beads. Lavender in jars smells heavenly. Chickens are funny animals. Why can't we live on only fudge ;-)
    We may live on different continents, but so much is similar. For me, it almost feels as if I wrote parts of your post ! :-)
    Have a great weekend !
    Love, Ingrid

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  4. The crochet looks beautiful - I especially like the patterns where the pieces are edged in white. And I love the idea of lavender by the bed.
    I only found out what loom bands actually were this past Wednesday... so yes, I feel a bit out of touch with the youngsters too (despite still only being in my thirties - just).
    Have a great weekend!
    Sarah x

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  5. Aaah fudge!!!! It looks delicious!!!! I have to admit, we have a lot of fudge, perhaps one batch a week!!! But it is so quick and easy in the microwave I never do the stovetop recipe anymore and it comes our perfectly every time!!!! Have s super fun filled weekend!!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  6. What a lovely happy post, it seems so calm and cheerful at your house. I watched a gardening programme last night and there was a man on there with a whole huge garden full of different kinds of lavenders, it must have smelt amazing. My biggest boy practises his littlest brother's guitar most days, and he does seem to be coming along. He's asked for one of his own for his birthday. I had a look at John Green's books on Amazon the other day, but I came to the conclusion that the themes were a bit too old for the children at the moment. I'd be interested to hear what age you think he is writing for. I hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  7. oh how I wish my daughter would practise her piano....................
    lavender by the bed is an inspired idea, why have I never thought of that.
    and i wonder if it would be bad to make fudge for breakfast, I really want some now........

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  8. Great happy post, doesn't take a lot to make you happy such contentment. Amazing gift children, they always make you happy done.t they...have a great weekend.

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  9. Lovely happy things Jennifer! Your blanket is looking great and it sounds like you are really enjoying working on it too. Loom bands are still very popular here too, it's a an activity that I'm happy to encourage!
    Marianne x

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  10. Lovely happies. Your blanket is coming along really well isn't it. Love the fudge too! xx

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  11. I just love, love these photos, Jennifer. Your home always looks so inviting.

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  12. Lovely happy moments Jennifer, your crochet is looking great and just look at that beautiful boy playing his guitar!
    Happy weekend,
    V x

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  13. Your blanket coming along nicely. The fudge you made with the little ones looks yummy indeed x

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  14. We start early here, my kids start in a little over a week. My youngest is really excited, I'm like you I'm ready, but emotional at the same time. I have been off the internet for the last month, since my house has been a little crazy this summer since school starts so early and summer was really short for us due to so many snow days to make up. Enjoy the last few weeks of your summer, I love all the projects you guys do!

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  15. Your fudge looks so yummy! I know your children enjoyed helping you make it. And I bet your lavender smells lovely by your bed. Have a great weekend!

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  16. I shall be trying lavender by the bed... tonight! And I love the hen with a view x

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  17. The blanket is looking wonderful! Very inspiring, although I am trying to exercise the self-control not to begin another project til others are finished.

    Also, if you love lavender and have a plentiful supply, I highly recommend making lavender lemonade as a refreshing summer treat. I had it for the first time last year and it has become a go-to idea for hot days.

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  18. Hey Jennifer,
    This post is great. I need to make some fudge with Pops. I'm putting it on my holiday list. I love your first photo the most. All those colourful circles. It must be so satisfying to make something that gorgeous. And could we swap boys for a day? I'll have LB, you can have Alf?
    Leanne xx

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  19. Ha ha, I know what you mean about your boy, I could have had twenty like Daniel and not known I'd got them whereas if Eleanor had been my first, she'd have been an only child. Only joking, but you know what I mean. Actually, as they've got older, the roles have been reversed a little, Eleanor is such great company these days and she's so sweet and thinks of others. She's not a great reader but her favourite book is The Fault In Our Stars. She doesn't read very much but she's read this more than once, has TFIOS iPod cover, a t-shirt, went to see the film on the day it was released. There's definitely something which attracts kids to it. I've read it too and I did enjoy it, but I know what you mean about the language, I think we're before its time. A sure sign of getting old.

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  20. A lovely post, the fudge looks so delicious! Your crochet is looking beautiful, and how sweet that the dolls have loom bands!! We are all wearing them here too....but not the dolls, yet! Lavender by the bed is such a good idea :)
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  21. I really fell in love with your last few lines because I feel like that too, it is just nobody likes to say it might actually be really good without feeling emotionless towards their children. yeah, someday's I will miss crrfting, cooking and chattering at home but we are ready for the next bit too. Bring it on! I can't wait to see that blanket, a friend at our knit group is doing the same one. Jo x

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  22. Well now Jennifer I don't if it's a blessing or a curse but your last post inspired me to start my own flowers in the snow blanket. I don't envisage ever finishing it but am so enjoying producing those lovely little circles of colour! Jane x

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  23. Like Jo I am feeling the same about the end of the summer break. It will be the star of something new and I am looking forward to it! Hama beads and loom bands are featuring heavily in our summer too. Bee xx

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  24. My eldest started out just like your boy with his acoustic guitar and his music teacher said he would play his guitar all day at school if he could! It's great that he's practising so well with it. Good luck to him with it. Your blanket is so very pretty. Think I'm all blanketed out for now. I'm knitting with some cashmere and it's soooo luxurious and behaves itself very well on the needles. Not quite knitting weather here but it's nice for a bit of chilling in the cool of the evenings. Happy weekend to you, Jennifer.xx

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  25. Sounds like you are all enjoying the summer break. That's very good about the guitar lessons - practice is key to learning to play any musical indtrument.

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  26. The blanket looks fabulous - as does the fudge! :o)

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  27. Lovely Friday Happies Jennifer, I love your photos and you are seriously tempting me to get out my crochet and have a go at a blanket. Your son is such a star to practice without being nagged x

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  28. Oh oh oh! Lavender!! Loom bands!! Crochet!!! The heat!!.....
    Good summer breaks are beautiful, and yours sounds like a good one. It's strange to think Autumn has to come eventually, but like you say it will soon be here!

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  29. Hi Jennifer,

    Lots of lovely happies at your place and I enjoyed seeing them.
    Your children are beautiful and love that your son is playing the guitar and enjoying it - I remember learning the piano and had lessons before school and the practice was not my favourite thing to do.
    the blanket is looking great and can see your children are talented with their crafts and take after their Mother. Lavender is one of my all time favourite scents and can't get enough of it in the house.
    Hope you are having a lovely weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  30. Your happiness is catching! Thanks, Jennifer :) I have a lavender sachet by my favorite chair, and bought one kind of lavender soap for home and another brand to take to use at the pool after swimming. And the last tube of hand cream I purchased is...lavender scented! Having some fresh cut lavender by my bed sounds like a wonderful way to encourage sweet dreams. [your family activities reminded me similar ones I enjoyed] xx

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  31. Hi Jennifer! I always get a feeling of well-being when I read your posts. I love what good kids you have and your wholesome endeavors. It was fun to see your hen up so high and I bet she loved it! They roost in trees when they are allowed free roam. Have a lovely day tomorrow. I remember well the freedom I felt when my last littlie was in school finally! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  32. Now I want some fudge, it looks scrumptious! I smiled at the photo of LB playing guitar, my Bunny happily goes to her harp to practice and play around daily as well - isn't it wonderful when they "click" with an instrument? Beautiful crochet, too, reminds me that I need to dig out my hexies...enjoy the weekend! Chrissie x

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  33. So many lovely 'happies' here, the fudge looks delicious! As to the Fault in our Stars, my daughter read this last year and cried so much while reading it. A month ago we went to see it as she wanted to see if the Director was true to the book, I went along intending not to enjoy it and sat at the front with about 500 teenage girls behind me. There was clapping, cheering and 'YES!' shouted out as my daughter explained to me that it was true to the book. By the time we came out into the light it looked as though we had been in an Alice Cooper convention with all the teenage girls wiping away the khol pencil tears down their faces :-) Well worth seeing, if only to understand what our children are now reading. xx

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  34. What a joy to have a child who practices a musical instrument, and without being told! He will probably love it all his life. Haven't made fudge for years, but now I want some...it looks delicious, and is a great fun activity. As ever, I love that pretty chicken :)

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  35. What a lovely collection of Friday happies! -And lavender smells amazing! I'm sure you are enjoying the lovely scent. :)

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  36. Such a great mixture of happies
    Clare x

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  37. Awesome happies! Your happies make me happies! Hehehe....yummy fudge! Gorgeous blankie!

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  38. Lovely happies. Loom bands have just been discovered here (in our house!!). BigR went to bed with her bracelet this evening!! I love the crochet...it's looking so good! I have some cut lavender in our dining room and it cheers me every time I pass and smell it. :)

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  39. Lovely happies as usual, Jennifer! Your blanket is really coming a long, I bet you have enjoyed watching it coming together. Loom bands are a favourite here too, the world had gone mad! They are a cute little hobby though. I am impressed with LB practising his guitar. My little boy has a guitar but he cannot play, it's not so easy to get lessons here and it's very expensive. He moves into Juniors next term though, and I think perhaps there are lessons there. I really wanted to give him a headstart, but I cannot find anywhere local that does lessons, it's such a shame! I bet LB will enjoy his evening lessons, he will just get better and better. :)

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  40. This post is so real and lovely. I love the pictures and the easy way you talk about your family and your doings. The crochet blanket is beautiful and the color combo is very nice, cant wait to see it all finished. Lavender by the bedside sounds nice, I might have to try that :) I can just imagine waking up in the morning with the fresh sent of lavender.

    Have a great upcoming weekend.
    Hugs,
    Birgitta

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  41. a lot to be happy about there, Jennifer. I love the photo of LB concentrating so hard on his guitar playing. that's the way to become a fine musician. I still smile at the thought that your children are coming to the end of their summer holidays, where my grandsons only started theirs 10 days ago. :)

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  42. Oh my goodness, I want to drop everything and make fudge immediately! It looks SO good... Love all your coloured yarns and the work you are doing with them as well!!

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