Sunday, June 1, 2008

cute japanese fabric site

this site makes me just crazy excited about making little things for the girls and boys in our home! now if i can just get the machine to the shop for servicing - my goal this week! enjoy the site.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


hey all, i was reading a friend's blog and discovered through then reading a linked blog (you know how that goes...) to a mom's blog wherebye (okay its a long train to where i found this!:) i found these two really neat toy sites: and i am scheming already for kyrie's birthday which come at the end of july. i am hoping to steer clear of any plastic items or mass produced - dare i say i may even make her something from that sewing machine down in the basement? (i have got to get it to the shop to have it looked over first!) i know that she is really interested in farms and animals and i also want to encourage her artistic/creative personality ... so maybe a stable for farm animals?

one thing i really want to do after reading Soulemama's The Creative Family (aka Amanda Blake Soule) is to create an art wire and hang the pictures and the inspirations up. and two other recommendations for encouraging the little thinkers and budding creatives in the family: framing some of our most favorite creations; and giving each child their very own art scrapbook - like a moleskin, where their projects can be saved and enjoyed. these suggestions will help with the ever increasing collections of papers and projects covering our dining room table, the kids table and our walls (imagine kyrie taping her pictures up on the wall - i really enjoyed watching her do this. i thrills me to see her so excited and free to share with our family the things she makes.)

graham has been away for the past few days and we had our wonderful friend, michelle, come back to newport to help me with the kids. (she is part of the renewal bible study we help our with at salve and truly one of our most favorite babysitters/friends!) she left this morning and i had a bit of a mini depression. missing graham, glum with the weather threatening to rain all day and mostly just misting (although it was beautiful outside and i love listening to the distant foghorn.) i was trying to figure out what to do with the kids and mainly wanting to just sit and read my book, which i finished. (the copper scroll by joel c. rosenberg) it wasn't until mid-afternoon that i got up the energy and motivation to continue our launry/folding/putting away chore that is stretching out nearly a week from the beginning of the task. more on that later. anyways i was thinking about how i missed graham and feeling slightly sorry for myself when i realized what an ungrateful mama i was being: ie. hello my sister-in-law kyla is home with 3 little ones while my brother is deployed until the end of the summer and I AM COMPLAINING about a weekend apart from my husband. snap out of it girl! so i did. note to self: need to send my niece a 1st year birthday present and an encouragement card to kyla!!!

so about the laundry situation: my good friend alicia suggested i do the "one load a day" rule that flylady teaches. so i did it today - now mind you i am still hammering away at the piles from this past week - but every day is a new day and hopefully by tomorrow (sunday - a day of rest!!) i will be at my goal. all folded, put away and only one load a day. so thank you to alicia for the suggestion and the kindness you delivered it with.

i guess this means that i am still in that mode of getting ready and ramped up for blaise's arrival sometime at the end of august. and as i am typing i remind myself that the first two babes were born early!!! not that i expect this again for our last one but it gets me thinking...i need to get cracking on the continueing saga of dejunking our basement. its all about preparation. really i am just preparing early for our move next summer, too. ahhhh before i start getting stressed out...breathe deeply and remember every day is new day and its one foot ahead of the other, baby steps. little small projects that are doable.

i know that i have not blogged in awhile or rather on a very consistent basis. i want to b/c it always makes me feel so much better. i can collect my thoughts and gain perspective. reading some of the other mom's blogs tonight has really encouraged me to be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of my mind. ie. read some of these blogs and be encouraged and don't read the blogs that bring negativity into my thought life. not that its bad to read a heavy or a sad blog post, rather think on the good things.

i am going to log off and fold this laundry and then read some of the word before i visit the land of nod. there will be more frequent bloggging and also a change of the layout soon. maybe even a change in the purpose of the blog. its all in the works.

sweet dreams

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

for the vintage in all of us...

i know i havn't been around lately - seems like i can hardly sit down anymore...i want so much to be doing and going places like the park with the kids at least once a day if i possibly can since it is nice most days...but i am planning a major overhaul of the blog and maybe a focus change.

i found this site on one of my reader subscriptions - blissfully domestic. enjoy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

time with mama

today it is in the lower 70's and sunny. ransom and i took a walk to the newport library park and then a long loop down bellevue ave. to our home. we looked at lots of trucks and such b/c there has been roadwork. ransom is thrilled with trucks of all sizes and shapes. its really fun to see his boyness come out even more as i have more time to focus on him, since the girls are away this week. after we got home i made us a picnic lunch and we sat out on our lawn in the back and had fun eating together. it was actually quite warm out there - dare i say "hot"!! we raked up leaves and sticks and i got excited about the potluck bbq/worship night we are having at our home on saturday night. we are probably going to buy some sort of a firepit to sit around. it reminds me of our nightly rituals in san diego, with all the point loma vineyard crowd. miss those guys. its nearly summer here in newport. i am already talking about beach passes and the summer season here. its going to get crowded but so so welcome. i have the windows open right now and might just run outside for a bit more sunshine and more of my book before the boy wakes up.

Monday, April 14, 2008

drumroll please!!! the newest plaster

in all of the busyness of calling family members and friends and the general crazy household that we live in, i completely forgot to post about our newest baby coming, the sex and the Name.

so here it is --- we are having a BOY!! his name is Blaise Llewellyn Plaster. due aug. 28th, 2008.

blaise -- french name taken from blaise pascal, the christian philosopher/mathematician.
llewellyn -- welsh for 'in the likeness of the lion'

for all of you who know what c.s. lewis fans we are, llewellyn has two very significant meanings - the first in reference to Aslan, the great Lion, the Christ figure in the chronicles of narnia; and the fact that llewellyn means 'lewis' in welsh.

we are all very excited (although kyrie is still getting over the fact that she won't have another sister, or as she puts it 'a sister for ransom') about the prospect of two boys and two girls. a brother for ransom. another boy to watch and see all the differences that the masculine sex has. its truly a miracle. we are thrilled to welcome our blaise into the family. so we have about 20 more weeks give or take a week (i am not counting as carefully as the other pregnancies). we are praying for "40 and smooth" - 40 weeks and a smooth delivery. this boy is going to be a big one, i can already tell.

more from bedtime

bedtime april 2008 (baths, painting toe nails pink etc)

my beauties april 2008

so these are a few pics from a new camera we have been playing around. our napster andrew has let us borrow his srl camera for the week and boy are we have fun. more to follow...

worship in the kitchen april 2008

spring break '08/spring cleaning '08

today is gorgeous. its sunny and warmer and brilliantly spring time. and my dear mother in law is coming in a few hours to pick up the girls for spring break. (my mama is taking kyrie and rebecca is taking rhys.) so it leaves just the Boy for the week with the Mama. what a special time. we'll take lots of naps, walks, park dates, coffee dates, and we'll be working on a few projects that never seem to get done with two other little ones under toe.

1. basement/organizing of junk, keeps and baby gear - taking clothes etc. to second hand store, or craig's list, or friends', or to the crisis pregnancy center in town for their rummage sale.
2. putting all my most favorite cds on my ipod that i have somehow failed not to include on my playlists!
3. budget -
4. reading
5. finish those thank you notes!
6. look around for a sewing class to take this summer
7. sign kyrie and rhys up for soccer and maybe gymnastics and vbs
8. meet up with friends and their kids for playdates at the park or beach?
9. def. going to the gym
10. the cliff walk with ransom!
11. more gardening and generally being outside as much as we can!!!

i came across this great blog mentioned in 'like merchant ships' called 'blissfully domestic' - i thought i'd share these quotes about organizing and getting rid of stuff not needed/used:

There is a place for sentimental value, for heirlooms, heck, even for ugly knickknacks. Just don't let every little thing hold more value for you than living in a streamlined here and now.

"If your house is full of stuff, all the blessings that could fill your house can't get in. The stuff takes over. It robs you psychologically. You can't be at peace."--Peter Walsh

in the midst of all this spring cleaning: spending more time with the Lord!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

sunny goodness

today was gorgeous -- it climbed to a whopping 50 degrees, folks, and it was glorious. i had the kids out all day (rhys and ransom at the park in the morning, after i drove along ocean drive) and the the girls (while ransom napped) outside the rest of the day. in the sunshine. in sundresses (although i think they were still a bit chilly). on picnic blankets with all their dolls etc. nearby. first we sat out on the front porch. i read. they chalked. then out in the back yard. i read and soaked it all in. they played. laughed. they were so cheerful. it was marvelous. and the best thing about it - we didn't watch a stitch of t.v.!! i can't tell you the last time that has happened. probably last summer. i got a babysitter for two hours and headed out to walmart's gardening center.

the sun was streaming down on all of the rosy, sweet pansies and other flowers. stacks and stacks of soil, fertilizer and other garden dirt varieties greeted my senses. it smelled like warmed dirt. it was lovely. i picked out a few cheep plants, some indoor seed starters and some seed packets. we are going out tomorrow to plant them. i hear that it is going to be around 60 degrees. dare i say that spring is here in newport? glory to the lord on high.

Monday, March 17, 2008

a healthy update

today was our first full day back in the land of the living - well - school wise that is. kyrie went to school finally!! yeah everyone is back from being so so sick all last week. we had the stomach bug for a week and then both parents caught a nasty head cold. i am almost all recovered. its sunny today and mid 40's - and i have seen a white crocus in bloom. how exciting. oh happy st. patrick's day everyone.

we leave for annapolis on wed after work and i can't wait. warmer weather and family too. easter is next sunday - can't wait for that! we are going to the easter egg roll in front of the naval academy chapel. our first ever. i am still working on something to wear for ransom but the girls are covered except for white socks and easter shoes. i need something to wear as well. but i will worry about that when we get down there.

today i went to several fun stores and got some things to work on this week with the girls. we'll be making easter cards and easter cookies (bunnies and ducks with almond extract - yummo!)

i have also been completing some of those projects i blogged about earlier - i finally got a huge cork board up in our kitchen and posted pictures and important information on it and oh man have cleared the frig and the closet clutter from unnecessary piles of papers. it feels so good! i have also started my thank you notes for my birthday party and rhys' too! and in an attempt to get more organized in my life as mama of four i bought a one dollar purse size weekly calendar so that i don't flake out on appointments etc!

speaking of appointments. i had my 16 week check up - i am either 16 or 16.5 weeks depending on the date of my last period or my dating ultrasound. we'll be having our big ultrasound in 2 weeks on april 2 to find out the sex - this is oh so exciting as this will be our last baby!! graham is going to be coming with me.

well i hope to some recent pictures soon. enjoy. and may christ dwell in you richly as you contemplate all that he has done for you and all that you can do for his kingdom. blessings!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

my projects now and later on

i am sitting in a very sunny bedroom staring at the ever growing piles of clean laundry that needs to be folded, sorted and put away ... much to my dear husband's credit there actually is clean laundry in the house. sometimes it just doesn't get done, for various reasons - well it does it just doesn't get done b/c i get distracted with kid stuff. so then along with tons of laundry there are also some organizational projects i really want to complete before the spring hits and i WILL be outside as much as i can. ie. our pantry room, our bedroom closet, our cds, baby stuff (what can i get rid of ie. be as minimalist as i can for this shall i dare say "last" baby?), and toys.

spring will come one of these days - oh i think in may or something and i want to be working on projects outside: a vegetable garden, my potted plants, herbs, weeding, watering, fertilizing - oh the very smell of wet, soft earth makes me even more motivated to get my indoor projects completed. you see the idea is that when we move next summer (2009) i will have gone through most of our stuff and pitched the 'not seen in a year junk'. instead of waiting til we have moved to maryland to do the deed. this has been my moving habit all times before b/c i always have just had a baby when we move and its been too much for me to tackle. not this time.

so right now i day dream of soft, wet, dark earth, new seeds, new plants, green things. buds on trees, bulbs, hydrangeas, rhodies, magnolias, warm sunshine on my back, garden tools, dirt in my fingernails, green hoses spraying cool water, little ones learning to plant and watching things grow. and then i dream of delicious fresh picked salads during the summertime..ummmm.

anyone else so ready for spring?

bye for now all. i am tackling my laundry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

inklings book club

yesterday was not all bad though...we had our first women's inklings book club by our fireplace last night. we are reading surprised by joy, the autobiography of c.s. lewis. it was so great to share with the salve regina girls. we really connected and i think this little community is going to deepen and grow in fellowship. each one was so insightful and open to sharing. thank you ladies for making me apart of your friendship circle. it was so rosy and cozy by the warm glow. blessings to these ladies.

a close call

before i begin, let me first say that i love the ymca, i love their mission, what they stand for etc. i have been very pleased with my time at our y here in newport, and until yesterday was happy to have a membership. however, after yesterday i am compelled to move my membership over to the newport athletic club.

so here is the story:

yesterday i dropped the kids off at the treehouse so that i could workout. about an hour and half later, i came walking down the hallway to pick the kids up. i noticed that two of the workers were coming out of the bathroom with my kids - both of them. rhys and ransom. now rhys is potty trained but ransom is not - he is 16 months old. as i approached the workers and the kids, one new worker (sorry i don't have her name), who was holding ransom said that he had escaped (!!!!) was wandering the hallway and she had seen him about to tumble down the stairs --- okay wait a minute - he was supposed to be in the treehouse (it has a gate and a door!) and why is he out on his own? the poor little fellow was red cheeked and flustered and very glad to see mama. so i brought my kids in to the treehouse and asked them to explain the story. i remained very calm and was able to keep the growing hysteria bottled up. there were three workers for the kids. two workers always have to go with the kids to the bathroom for legal purposes. so there was one worker left. she apparently was cleaning up applesauce on the floor and didn't see ransom walk out of the kids' area. as i was leaving i suggested that they make an incident report about this with the director of the treehouse. then i decided that they might not do that so i was going to do it - i mean if a mother isn't the advocate for her child who is? so i was able to have someone track down the director. she apologized up and down and had the two workers involved explain what happened. then it became more clear what happened. the new worker (who isn't "familiar" with which kid goes with which mom) saw a mom lead her three kids out and leave the door open and ransom followed her out. so the worker "assumed" that he was with the mom. yep that's right folks. assumed. never checked an id, or the list. just let some stranger walk out with my kid. so here ransom was wandering around by himself. the pool is just down the hallway from the treehouse room - where he could have just easily wandered in and fallen in the pool. or fallen down the steps, had not the worker rescued him. the director said that they had never had an incident like this and that she had been there for 2 years in charge. she apologized up and down as did the workers. they were very understanding and professional but it was obvious that this system ain't workin!! i said this is very serious and you might think about putting a system in place whereby you give out a sticker that coincides with the child so that only a parent with the sticker that matches their kid, takes their kid. it should NOT be this loosy goosy. i said that every church nursery i have ever been in has some sort of accountability system in place to prevent this kind of thing or worse from happening. the incident ended with them apologizing and me thanking them for being honest and talking about it with me. but in no way did i let them think i was going to continue going to the treehouse. i just let that be the unspoken decision. plus i wanted to talk it over with graham before i made my final decision. its always best to leave on a polite note then burn bridges or say something that can't be take back.

and so under the direction of my husband i am going to write a business letter explaining the incident and letting them know why i am not going to renew my membership. i think this problem can be easily fixed. but for now the system is broken and its not safe for my children to be there. there needs to be a change with the signing out and picking up the kids - checking of ids etc. if it means that they need to have two facilities b/c of overcrowding then do it. or if they need to hire more workers (since it seems chaotic anyway) then do it. other ymca's have really good systems (ie the mission valley y in san diego) in place and don't encounter these issues. i think with a little tweeking, the treehouse can really become an even better facility to its members. the workers were always very sweet to my children and i have appreciated being able to drop them off and get some free time to myself. but i just don't feel that they can be trusted to keep a watchful eye on where my children are and who is picking them up.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kite Runner

we saw kite runner this weekend down at jane pickens. i have read the book - one of my most favorite books of all time. i must admit i was really hesitating seeing the movie b/c well you know how movies v. books are - the book is always better. at least it used to be. nowadays, as my sister in law whitney reminded me, the movies really are comparable. this was no exception. kite runner was absolutly phenomenol. one of the neatest things about it was that graham and i understood a lot of the dari dialect b/c he has been learning farsi (persian) and has been teaching me. i was amazed at how easy it would be to pick it up if we were immersed. this book and learning the language, along with other films and literature graham discovers from that region is making me have a love for afganistan and iran. for muslim culture. for the plight of women and children. for what they have and what they had. so today i picked up a thousand splendid sins, housseini's second novel (a mother daughter story) and have been burning through it. sitting by the warm, hot fireplace, whilst the children are coloring, watching movies, and playing picnic and house. i am about to run back to my story. i would like to post a link to graham's paper on iranian freedom in blogging. i think it will shed some light on this beautiful and repressed country. also i might post some rumi too - i gave him a book of rumi's poetry for christmas. its gorgeous. enjoy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

moms in motion

last night i took my moms in motion class at the y. its for prego moms or moms with newborns. i love it. love it. we did boxing with weights and all these cool stretches and exercises that felt like i was giving my body a vacation - i know it sounds funny - i was working out - but i was stretching all these joints and muscles that get so tense being a mama and arent' used - despite the 15 million times i go up and down the stairs and the heavy children that i regularly carry all over tarnation!:) i truly feel that i am doing something for my baby and for myself - taking time out to be healthy is so important. it motivates me.

of course - right before i went i made tuna noodle casserole (which i was craving and salavating for all day!) and homemade warm banana bread! oh baby the baby loved it!

but seriously, at the end of the workout for the cool down session my instructor (she is awesome!) had us lay on our sides and just talk to our babies for a bit, taking time out to recognize our unborn children. it was really neat. i realized that this pregnancy has not been bad at all (so far) and that i may just change that maxim i have been saying after three babies that "i hate being pregnant." i want to embrace this time. its about being aware. and of course about not having morning sickness, which i have been blessed to not have ... yet. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

more christmas pictures from maryland

christmas homemade

christmas gifts worked out really well this year - although we are still working on ours for everyone (a plaster family cookbook). each member had their own version of homemade and it was so fun to give and receive. each year we'll continue to make new things to give and it will get more and more creative. hopefully next year i will have sewn some gifts...we'll see since we have a little surprise as homemade as they come --- we are expecting our 4th child!!!! surprise to all of you who probably arent' that surprised! we are thrilled and so blessed to welcome a new little plaster in to our family.

Baby its cold outside and inside

we have arrived back in newport after a wonderful stay with mark and re down in maryland. we enjoyed all of the mild weather and probably got a little too used to it. graham had turned the heat down to 55 F before we left (we always turn it down that low at night b/c we have electric blankets and space heaters, something you have to do to keep the cost down.) so when we came home i turned up the heat but it wasn't until yesterday morning that we realized the heat wasn't "on" at all. it was so cold in our home (the temp outside had dipped way down from the 2nd to the 3rd of jan - on the 3rd it was 11 F) that we could see our breath. the kids were little icicles and cried. i was frantically trying to get the fire to heat at least one spot in the house. we made it through a very cold day and found out once graham got home that the pilot light had gone out. it went out again mysteriously, later on when he was back at the war college last night, but he was able to get it up and running. so now we are toasty in our home and have a new found appreciation for heating oil, for heat in general. it really made me pause and remember those who don't have the means to warm up their hands and feet. whose children live in constant bitter cold. it was a good reminder. life is so comfortable here. jesus what are you teaching me?

you'll see that we had fun despite the frigid temps by having a pizza party picnic in front of the fireplace. the kids had a good time!! yeah for rocco's our favorite pizza joint.

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