the dove tree

where good things grow.

a warm and cozy fall

IMG_2945

is there anything better than fall?

IMG_2953

warm and cozy coats, sweaters, hats and mittens.

soup in the evening and homemade apple sauce simmering in the crock pot all day.

sitting around the fire and drinking cocoa after playing in the leaves all afternoon.

IMG_2958

it’s getting dark so early now.

the fall sunlight is changing.

i love the soft glow in the kitchen in the late afternoon.

 i walk around and turn on every lamp in the house.

i happily leave them on all day.

it’s so relaxing and peaceful.

IMG_3066

i decided that the soft glow of christmas lights isn’t just for christmas time.

i strung a set up around the back door of our den.

the kids love them.

iris giggles when i turn them on in the morning.

IMG_2964

the leaves have almost completely fallen off the trees.

on our way to preschool jonah announces from the back seat of the car all the colors of leaves he sees.

and iris calls loudly, “mama, pumkin! i see pumkin!” as we pass each house dressed up for the season.

IMG_3264

our house, of course, is dressed up, too.

IMG_3284

my sister, christie, is incredibly talented and makes beautiful things.

i asked her if she would make a bunch of fabric buntings for the house.

she said, yes. : )

she did such a great job. it turned out so blasted cute.

she made me 5 of them to drape across the front of our house, and i love it!

IMG_3267

she doesn’t know it yet, but i’m also going to request some for christmas.

how cute would they be strung up next to christmas lights?

and, she has the most lovely fabrics for it, too.

you should stop in and take a look…

thespottedbarn.com

IMG_3072

she’s not the only one that’s been hard at work crafting, though.

my kiddos made these little guys for each one of their cousins.

jonah wrote the names of his cousins on the back of each leaf.

(when did he get so big?)

and iris, very meticulously, glued each set of googly eyes on.

she’s so sweet.

IMG_3318

oh, and mommy’s been crafting, too.

(that’s me… i’m mommy)

IMG_3308

IMG_3297

i’ve got plenty of new sets of pins to check out.

IMG_3256

and, i’ve been working hard on wreaths, too.

how cute is the burlap paired with the chocolate brown and burnt orange?

i love these fabric roses and can’t get enough of them!

IMG_3247

i hope you enjoy them, too.

the wreaths and pins are for sale in the shop now.

goodwill finds and chevrons in my shop!

IMG_2611

lately, every time i swing by the goodwill i find something new i must have.

it calls out to me and asks me to take it home.

i swear it does.

no, seriously.

it does.

like, these beautiful blue ball jars!

all ten of them wanted to come home and pretty up my mantel.

IMG_2497

and, this vintage globe.

it now lives on my file cabinet!

IMG_2492

i’m in love with this wood box!

i’m not sure what it was original used for, but i’m storing all of our school supplies in it.

IMG_2657

i found these glass pieces for our large shelf in the living room.

i filled the small guy with dried up sticks from our backyard.

bringing outdoor things in like rocks, sticks, shells and leaves is fun and always beautiful!

IMG_2653

i also picked up these wire metal baskets to hold books on our new dresser.

IMG_2607

this dresser was not a goodwill find…

it was FREE!

that’s right, FREE!

my mother-in-law was getting rid of it and asked us if we wanted it.

she loved it, but no longer had room for it.

so lovely!

so, does the goodwill call your name?

have you found anything that called out to you that you just had to take home?

IMG_2662

oh, also…

we’re nearing the start of the school year and if you need a gift for a great teacher…

look no further!

i filled up my shop with sets of the cutest chevron pins!

IMG_2675

IMG_2683

IMG_2669

a simple weekend

IMG_2996

hey.

how’s your weekend going?

ours is good.

simple, quiet, rainy…

IMG_2603

we spent the morning doing yard work.

we live on over an acre, so there’s always plenty to do.

when the weather is cold and rainy it’s actually relaxing and kind of fun.

IMG_2641

i took my sweet 4 year old to a movie this afternoon.

he was simply adorable.

we haven’t been to a movie in a really long time.

he had so many sweet things to say.

“mom, why do they give us tickets?”

“mom, i can get candy here?!”

and my favorite…

“mom, this popcorn tastes so much better than the popcorn at home!”

yes, jonah… yes, it does.

IMG_2575

look at this sweeet wittle face!

i’ve been gazing at it almost every afternoon while we play go fish and candy land.

board games and rainy days go hand in hand. : )

IMG_2635

i made this lovely wreath.

ain’t she pretty?

she’s in my shop now.

IMG_2626

i’ve actually been working on pushpins and magnets a lot lately, too.

i’ve added new sets and re-stocked some oldies.

make sure you stop in and take a look around!

IMG_2648

right now, at this very moment,

as i sit here writing this post,

there is the most glorious smell coming from the kitchen.

it’s our dinner…

Perfect Roast Chicken.

i’m so very excited to devour this dish,

to suck every succulent bone clean.

(okay, i’ll stop before i take it too far.)

it’s a fantastic recipe that my kids absolutely inhale and request again and again.

you should make this chicken tonight.

you won’t regret it.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten

Ingredients
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil
Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

our favorite soup recipe

IMG_2528

we’ve been getting a bunch of rain storms this summer.

it’s so lovely.

IMG_2529

because the rain has been cooling everything off almost every evening,

i’ve actually been able to make soup.

yum!

this is one of our favorite recipes that i make at least once a week in fall and winter.

it’s so fast and simple.

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis 

2 tbsp butter 

1 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots ( i use 1 medium onion)

1 sage leaf

2 (15 oz) cans of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

4 garlic cloves, cut in half

1/2 cup cream

pepper to taste ( i usually add salt, too)

Place a medium, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and beans and stir to combine. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a large bowl. Carefully ladle 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Be careful to hold the top of the blender tightly, as hot liquids expand when they are blended. Pour the blended soup back into the soup pan. Puree the remaining soup. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add the cream and the pepper. Keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

IMG_2522

make sure you serve this soup with a loaf of crunchy, warm ciabatta bread

or your husband will look at you like you’re crazy.

he’ll give you the “you expect me to get full off of just soup” face.

it’s not pretty.

IMG_2520

download FREE 4×6 print!

image

“i can do all things through christ who strengthens me.”

philippians 4:13

jenny over at french press mornings is giving away a FREE 4×6 print!

visit frenchpressmornings.com to get yours.

you can also get an 8×10 or 11×14 print in her shop!

for this week this print will be featured at 40% off the original price!

40%!

i think i can always use a little bit of encouragment and be reminded his love for us.

our 4th of july

DSC_3460

well, it’s been a while now and i just realized that i never shared our 4th of july pictures.

oops.

every year we have a big independence day party at our house.

we invite aunts, uncles, grandparents and lots and lots of cousins.

it’s never anything too fancy

just food

family

and fireworks.

oh, and fun!

IMG_2482

and feet.

okay, i’ll stop now.

but, seriously…how cute are these toes?!

iris just had to have them painted for the holiday weekend. : )

DSC_3449

anyway, we all had so much fun!

these kids love being together.

DSC_3507

DSC_3506

DSC_3541

DSC_3441

DSC_3569

DSC_3455

DSC_3522

DSC_3487

4th

and, this is my favorite picture that my husband got on his cell.

the kids playing with sparklers in our backyard.

so cute.

IMG_2568

oh, also…

i put a few new (and pretty) things in my shop

IMG_2562

stop in a take a look!

looks like we made it…

IMG_2994

well, we made it through another week of summer.

at first, the thought of having this boy home all the time sounded like fun.

which, it was… for a while.

and then it just became a lot of work.

he is used to routine and there’s not as much routine in the summer months.

not to mention entertaining a 4 year old all the time is exhausting. : )

(that’s why god made them cute though, right? just look at that sweet pookie face.)

IMG_2455

anyway, i knew we needed a little help so,

i made this chart.

i got the idea from my sister.

she said that they used something like it in her daughter’s 1st grade class and that it works wonders.

i thought we could give it a try

and it’s been fantastic for jones!

you start the day on green and you move up and down depending on behavior.

if he helps out around the house or does anything extra good he moves up a color.

and, if he acts up the clothes pin moves down and he misses out on something special.

(usually an afternoon show or something)

IMG_2454

i stopped by the library the other day and grabbed p-dub’s book.

i needed a pick me up. : )

i’ve been meaning to read it for months.

i finished it and i loved it!

it is so funny, and  she seems like such a great wife and mom.

we’re best friends.

she doesn’t know it yet, though.

IMG_2451

i love getting organized and i wanted a small board for our fridge to write meals on,

so that way i can remember what to make during the week.

i found this bad boy at target for $3.00!

IMG_2457

every summer i try to pick up fall and winter clothes for the kids.

i love a good clearance rack.

 i found most of this stuff for a couple bucks at gymboree and crazy 8!

IMG_2378

oh, yeah, speaking of cheap finds, that reminds me…

i also found some pillow covers at hobby lobby for $3.00 each!

they were on sale 50% off.

i just might be the cheapest person alive… ever.

i’m not alone here, right?

you’re frugal, too, right?

oh, never mind.

IMG_2380

have a great weekend!

lazy summer days

IMG_2999

how’s your summer going?

ours is good.

we’ve been super busy

doing lots and lots of nothing

and, it’s been great.

IMG_2389

drawing with sidewalk chalk.

IMG_2392

cookie baking.

IMG_2316

sorting our cars.

(over and over)

IMG_2368

snuggling. : )

IMG_2385

movie watching.

IMG_2336

taking long walks.

(well, as long as a 4 year old and 1 year old will allow)

DSC_6697

flower picking.

IMG_2340

and plenty of costume changing.

IMG_2406

i also made this sweet wreath.

IMG_2400

and, it’s in my shop.

please, stop in and take a look!

i hope you have a great day.

our daddy

IMG_2982

not only is he an amazing husband,

but also an incredible father.

DSC_6789

i thank god each and every day for him.

IMG_0612

i don’t know how the 3 of us got so lucky. : )

Jonah 13- 14 months 040

IMGP4355

he’s everything a father should be.

IMG_2383

and we love him dearly.

happy father’s day, daddy!

thanks for all you do.

so grateful

DSC_3068

the sweet little boy up there is my son and the adorable girls are my nieces.

my sisters and i were all pregnant at the same time.

it didn’t seem like that big of a deal then…

DSC_3072

but, it’s pretty special now.

DSC_3078

they all go to preschool together and have become best buddies.

they love each other.

DSC_3073

4 is a pretty sweet age.

they’re always telling jokes

and making each other laugh.

making up songs.

playing make-believe.

DSC_3084

i feel very blessed and grateful for these girls.

i’m so glad that they live so close and we can see them often.

i love that they’ll all grow up together and always have each other.

DSC_3066

yeah, it’s pretty special now. : )