Archives for April 2012

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I’ve been working on a few small special requests for the girls.  First I made a pair of shorts for Beatrix.  I don’t know where she was when I was sewing them, but Larkspur appeared by my desk the second I started working.
“It seems like everything you sew is for Beatrix.”
I replied, “Let’s see, I just made you a Nurse Nancy set, an Emily dress, and a pinafore.”  (all Beatrix got was an Emily dress and pinafore.)
Larkspur makes no reply.

A few days later I sat down to sew Larkspur a requested pair of ruffle pants.  I don’t know where she was when I was sewing them, but Beatrix appeared by my desk the second I started working.
“What are you making mommy?”
“I’m making pants for Larkspur.”
“Well, I don’t have many pants.”
“Beatrix, you have so many pants that your drawer is never empty.”
“Well….”  Her voice trails off.

They wanted pocket necklaces too, so I knit them both one in the requested colors and they’ve been wearing them for days.

As I started looking through these photos this evening, I noticed that everything about Larkspur in these photos is so very Larkspur.  Last week we were at the thrift store and she wanted a basket.  I suggested that she grab one of the natural looking ones, but she insisted on the white one with flowers and a bow.  And those pants she’s wearing, I have never loved that fabric, but she does, and seeing it on her, I see that she’s right.  The color and the pattern suit her perfectly.  She’s growing up so much it seems these days and sometimes I love it, but sometimes I really don’t.  I have been thinking about the fact that when my kids were babies (well, Beatrix and Silas are still babies, Beatrix just barely) it was much easier to always feel totally connected to them.  But then they start to get older and their specific personalities grow stronger, and sometimes, those personalities are a bit difficult (I am not talking about differences of opinions regarding fabric choices of course.)  Sometimes it isn’t easy to stay connected. 

In my mind, I think “Today, you are really driving me crazy and it seems that all we are doing is butting heads, but surely I can find a way through that, find something that we can share.”  With Larkspur, I am learning that we both have a strong love for flowers and gardens.  It has only been recently that this shared love has become so evident.  Today she helped me set out tomatoes.  I would have liked to do it myself, worrying about the fragile little root systems, but she wanted to plant right next to me.  Sharing with her was far more important than my worries about the plants.  I showed her how to carefully remove the little plants from their pots, how to set them in the ground, and I let go of any worry.  Side by side we worked:  I would plant mine, and she would plant hers and then we would shift down the row.  I watched her carefully mimic me.  She told me several times, almost as if she were surprised at herself, “I really like working in the garden.  I even like to pull weeds.”   I just smiled, thinking, “Me too.”  Cleaning her bedroom overwhelms her, but she weeded out a couple of our garden beds today.  She’s finding her way, and I’m finding mine right next to her.

 

p.s.  Larkspur’s pants were made with my favorite easy pants pattern from Carefree Clothes for Girls (I added the ruffle) in Amy Butler Cypress Paisley.  I made Beatrix’s shorts from the same pattern, but made them shorter.  The fabric was a gift, and I have no idea what it is!  You can find the pattern for the knitted pockets here.

Naturally Fun Parties for Kids giveaway!

Larkspur seeing herself in Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

Recently, Larkspur sat down with our copy of Naturally Fun Parties for Kids and started flipping through the pages.  I asked Lark to look closely, and see if she might recognize anything in the pictures.

Larkspur seeing herself in Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

I contributed to the Egg Dyeing Spring Garden Party, and it didn’t take Larkspur long to find my pictures there, including one of her!

natural egg dyeing

When I asked her how she felt, seeing her little mouth above a basketful of eggs that we dyed, she replied with a shy grin, “embarrassed!”

Larkspur seeing herself in Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

But as she studied the photos some more, I like to think that she was aware that this is really special.

Larkspur seeing herself in Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

I am honored that a few of my photos made their way into this lovely book that Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot created.

natural egg dyeing

We think that it’s kind of hilarious that my need to organize and categorize (and Seth’s- he drew the little lines to create places for the green eggs!) is evident in some of the photos!

natural egg dyeing

Larkspur seeing herself in Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

What about the book itself, beyond the fun of seeing our photos in it?

The truth is, I’ve never thrown a proper party.  The mere thought has always overwhelmed me.  But, as I read through the different party ideas, I found myself getting inspired.  I started thinking that I could do this, and reading through these great party ideas makes me want to!  Anni has a way of being that mom who actually makes fairy houses for all the kids coming to her daughter’s birthday party, without making me feel inadequate for not doing that sort of thing.  Instead, she breaks down the components of throwing a good party into bite sized pieces, pieces that even “often overwhelmed me” could handle.

You can use the themes as guides to help you give a party exactly as described, or find inspiration to create your own celebration, letting the ideas be a springboard for your own creation.  Each party is described in detail, from the title and theme to a supply list for projects, materials and food.  The lists encourage using items you already have, or can be found secondhand.  The theme of reduce and reuse is prominent throughout the book, and I love that.  The supply list is even broken down into easy to read categories.  For instance  in the egg dyeing party the categories are:  printed paper invitations, outside decor, table decor, games, and recipes.  Then right next to that is a timeline (This feature really struck me as important.  I would need the timeline.)  There are tips for getting ready 2 weeks prior to the event, 1 week prior, the day before, and the day of the party.  Seriously, with that kind of help, I think I could do this.

Each party theme is supported by instructions for making handmade invites, great recipes, crafts, and activities.  Everything you need is included, but presented in a way that you can pick and choose what works for you.  But if you really need a no brainer, it’s all there for you.  Most of the parties encourage outdoor locations, which I think really cuts the stress level down and lets you use nature to help decorate!

The bottom line is that I am truly loving Naturally Fun Parties for Kids.  Thank you Anni and Heather!

Anni is generously offering two of my readers a copy of Naturally Fun Parties for Kids. For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post. Be sure to hop over and “like” the the Naturally Fun Parties for Kids Facebook page for extra inspiration!  Comments will close on Monday.  Two winners will be chosen randomly and announced within this post.

Comments are closed.  The winners are:

Open Roads Mama Amber:  “Yes, please! The book sounds amazing, I always need inspiration in the party for kids department!”

and Brittany:  “I would love to have a copy of this book!  Thanks for the chance to win one :)”

 

Thanks Anni and Heather!