Friday, July 29, 2016

Madeline's ladybug birthday!


This first birthday was such a fun day with a happy baby... a celebration of life itself! Life is worth celebrating, family is worth celebrating, and most of all grandchildren are worth celebrating:)

A photo shoot and cake smash came first on the birthday list. It was quite the production with costume & set design, custom cake to destroy, photographer, videographer and support staff to "make the baby look and smile".....my daughter Danielle made the comment that only in America would we go to this much effort for a baby to smash a birthday cake!












Sisters Annabelle & Scarlett joined Madeline for a few icing licks but she ceased to be in a sharing mood with Scarlett in the second picture below...hahaha


Next on the birthday agenda was a simple poolside picnic party with a few close family friends. Thankfully we have learned to pare down the party prep aiming for just enough to have one concentrated spot for pictures. After all children really don't care...it's all for the mommys:)



Madeline didn't need any prompting tearing into the presents. The highlights were a book from friends and a plastic penguin that can be stuffed with "coins"....Grammie has learned it's the little inexpensive presents that garner the most smiles!





The best part of this cute birthday party was Madeline's instant and beaming smile when we started singing Happy Birthday! She really caught the vision that this whole celebration was for her:) We were celebrating her in every way. She is a super smiley happy baby who brings joy to all who chance to see that adorable face! 



Having just experienced her glorious cake smash, tasting chocolate and icing for the first time...Madeline couldn't wait to dive into a birthday cupcake! I love the way this picture captured her bright blue eyes which she inherited from her Welsh/English great grandmother June.

And that's how we celebrated our granddaughter Madeline's first birthday...life is good:)





Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Glorious periwinkle agapanthus


I don't remember where I saw these flowers for the first time... but they have completely stolen this girl's flower loving heart!
Recently my usual slightly grumpy morning self was stumbling into the kitchen when these glorious beauties of nature caught my eye through the window in full summer glory! A smile spread across my face and suddenly the morning became much happier:) 

This gorgeous flower mob began many years ago with only two plants! They are now multiplying vertically and are now 5 1/2 feet tall...over my head:-} 

This year I captured the progressive stages of blooming. Seeing the unfolding of life creates  a more appreciative heart for the miracle of creation and this abundant and beautiful world!




Each year I eagerly look forward to these magnificent blooms and echo the sentiment of a great artist...
"I must have flowers, always, and always."
Claude Monet


Butterflies & sunshine


Some days it seems the whole outside world is falling apart...and it worries me. You are probably wondering what that has to do with butterflies:)....well... creating is like a balm to my soul, an enjoyable activity that brings me joy, and best of all ends in cheerful seasonal decor like these butterflies!

This project began with my curiosity of "gelatos" by Faber Castell. I love blended color and these babies do just that! They are like a creamy crayon that can be blended into a beautiful watercolor feel. I did learn that you MUST blend immediately after application or the gelatos dry as you applied them. The blues of the Caribbean sea are my favorite!



I had a butterfly banner in mind for the mantle and although the gelato butterflies were pretty, I ramped them up with 2 layers of wings made with cardstock in bright and happy colors. Cricut design space makes finding and layering images so easy:)




The vases of summer flowers on my mantle were the inspiration for the colors of the butterflies. I made 7 large butterflies instead of a multitude of tiny ones...love the impact of BIG!


Viola... sunshine and butterflies for a cheerful summer mantle! I found the turquoise flower vases at "Tuesday Morning" for my summer floral arrangements and rounded up all of my other turquoise vases stashed here and there to create my summer mantle. The sunshine wooden word was in the Target dollar section:)




The summertime happiness of my mantle makes me smile every time I walk by...it may be dark clouds "out there" but here in my house it's sunshine and butterflies!

Here is the link to the butterfly on cricut design space










Monday, July 11, 2016

Apple turnovers in wellies

Baking is in the family blood:) I occasionally find myself defending my cooking skills or rather my unwillingness to make cooking a priority. I DID cook everyday, most times twice a day when my children were growing up, but now find it tedious to come up with meals for 2 every day;-} If I really look back on my life it becomes clear that I never really loved to cook food, but rather LOVED to bake! This love of baking is showing up in my grandchildren and I am thrilled with their giggles and grins in the baking arena. Savannah is an especially happy girl and her mommy reported giggling all the way through this baking adventure wearing her wellies (that's British for rain boots) and a ruffly monogramed apron from Nannie (my mom). We love to bake so much that this layout becomes the first in my latest album idea... "Baking with the Crossley's"

Savannah's pink apron was the obvious inspiration for this layout design with circut design space providing the image for these cute aprons. I have a stash of "baking" paper and embellishments, but really can't resist those crochet hearts! The word delightful is perfect description of this little cutie:)






p.s. The apple turnover recipe is here on this adorable site "oh so delicioso" which has Savannah's Aunt Stephanie as a contributer.

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Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th...celebrate freedom!

It's a day we all look forward to, a day of parties, trips to the lake, hamburgers on the grill, parades, and flags flying everywhere. It sometimes seem we take for granted the real reason for this holiday, the day we declared when our independence from England. I read an article this year of a family who has a tradition of reading the constitution each year. Imagine the gratitude and patriotism that would abound in this country if each family followed suit. Our family has an additional reason to love July 4th because that is the day my mother Martha Grace made her debut on earth. We think of her as a firecracker:) There is no talent she doesn't possess and no mountain too high to climb for this amazing woman. Gatherings at her home on the lake for the 4th of July are some of our favorite family memories!
Lake Livingston
Younger sister Mitzi, my 73 year "young" mom and me...all in blue without a consultation:)

Triple berry pie from me, mom's birthday favorite
Mitzi made mom triple berry pies too..again no family consultaion!

Pie eating, hammer grilling, spike ball, relaxing, jet skiing, laughing, and just being together in the greatest nation on the earth is what makes this a great day!


Keith, Travis, Jonathan & Danielle are trying to master the new favorite family game, spike ball
Thor, Danielle's 6 month old great dane doesn't understand why Nannie (my mom)
doesn't invite him in the house:)

Madeline Madeline is usually the center of attention...who can resist a baby?

My baby brother Mark and wife Elizabeth are two of the most service giving people I know!


My two sweet daughters Brittany & Danielle & granddaughter Madeline

I will always wonder what what was said between Katri and Nannie (my mom) to make them laugh so hilariously:)

Pictures of Michael's face filled with joy around grandchildren are my favorite!

My son in law Travis loves to tease Nannie:)

May we choose wisely our leaders that this country will remain a bastion of freedom that our families can live in peace, security and happiness. And may we always remember those that have given their lives for this very privilege...