Tag Archive | children

A Roll in the Park and the reaction of bystanders

We went to the park the other day, right before a Boy Scout meeting.

 I thought it would be a great way to burn off some energy.  The kids put on their helmets and rollerblades and started down the path…

They got a little ahead of me – and when I caught up to them – they were halfway up this “mountain”.


There was an older couple that stopped to watch the kids playing.

The man thought the kids were hilarious and he kept laughing… the woman, on the other hand, kept giving me dirty looks of disapproval.  She was so disgusted with my children and I that she huffed away, leaving the man behind (who, by the way, stayed until after the children rolled down the hill and then gave the kids a round of applause).

I was surprised by the diverse reactions of these two people.  I felt the woman judged me quite harshly as I was only allowing my children the freedom to play and explore a hillside… they even had helmets on!

By the time they all had finished rolling down the hill, all four children were filthy!! and Simone had a giant hole in the back of her jeans!!


We did a quick dusting off of the clothes and did an impromptu trip to GoodWill where Simone got a very stylish pair of turquoise Lucky Brand jeans for $2

And Eddie had a great time at the Boy Scout Meeting where became an official Scout!

Vintage Fashion #7

I couldn’t resist posting this handsome picture of my three boys as part of my Vintage Fashion Series!

They are actually dressed as magicians but they look like little vintage gangsters!


Eli looks like a vintage Newsboy 📰

Thank you Goodwill for all pieces of their outfit… Pants, shirts, vests, hats ($2 each)

A vintage tool set (that actually works!)

Pocket knives and tools are a big thing around my house…

To be trusted with a knife is HUGE! They must follow the rules:

  1. Always be sitting when you open a knife.
  2. Always close the knife before you stand up.

Last year, knives were given as birthday presents.

They are also cheap treasures found at Flea Markets and Antique Malls.

Now, I admit sometimes I get nervous when my littlest has a knife- or any tool for that matter.

Last year, he was satisfied with a used plastic stool set.

This year, however, we have been working on wood-working and tool using.

(I consider it an elective as part of our homeschooling curriculum.)

… Thankfully we happened to stop at a random Flea Market while we were out and about one day- and found this awesome tool set…

We bought it because it was so super cute…

But when we got it home, we realized the tools were real, just mini-sized!

It is so nice for Eli to have child-sized tools that actually worked!!

An old fashion lawn mower

No… We didn’t get a goat LOL!

We did get this vintage push mower, though, for $4 at a garage sale! My husband haggled the price down from $5! 😊


  The boys were so excited to mow the lawn! Eli kept insisting that the mower was his and that he was going to “lawner the grass”! LOL  

Well… The mower was harder then it looked and he was unable to push it despite a galliant effort!

Andre was next and he managed to cut a few feet of grass –

Edison was a trooper! He put his back into it and cut the whole front yard!

Eddie was so proud… As was I!

I like how I could trust him to be safe with this simple tool and he liked that I trusted him ❤️

A gift for the animal lover

Eli is a dog lover!

He wore a puppy outfit that I found at Goodwill for $2 almost everyday for 6 months! He only stopped because he outgrew it!

A friend from church noticed his love of puppies and wanted to make him a special gift…

(This was over a year and a half ago and I still tear up at this picture! It was such a sweet gesture during a hard transition to becoming  gluten free)

She had seen a picture of Eli in his costume on Facebook, so she printed it out along with a homemade label that said PUPPY CHOW.

She glued the label onto an empty glass jar (probably a pickles or jelly jar). Then she added her homemade gluten-free chex-mix “puppy chow”.

He still has the jar and he fills it with treats.

It would be fairly easy for anyone to make this kind of gift!

  1. Find out the child’s favorite animal
  2. Find a cute picture of the child and a picture of the favorite animal 
  3. Try looking through old magazines for animal pictures
  4. Think of a cute name like Puppy Chow or Kitty-Cat Food, or Bunny Treats…
  5. Glue the label and pictures onto the jar.
  6. Secure and waterproof with packing tape 
  7. Hand wash only!!! Do not immerse in water!
  8. Fill with a food the child can have
  9. Make a child happy by giving the gift to them 😊

Oranges – the original fruit snacks

We went to my nephew’s 8th grade graduation this weekend.

 Well, I accidentally left my purse in the classroom.  Oops!!! Forgetting your purse somewhere is a big NO-NO!!

So, in a panick, my husband called his sister to see if they could find my purse.  

She said she had found “an old lady purse” near her son’s desk…


She knew it had to be mine because she opened it and saw…


Yes – I am known for my vintage apparel  and the healthy snacks I feed my children 😄

A vintage picnic bag… and the history behind our gluten free corn free diet

For a moment, I felt guilty writing another post that involved food… well not food exactly.  Rather about another picnic basket… well not exactly a basket.  More like a vintage picnic bag.

But then I got to thinking that food is a very social thing.  Everyone eats!  Bloggers write about recipes and restaurants and other food related experiences.  And it really is of no surprise that I would receive another (early) Mother’s Day present that involved food… well a way to bring food with us on an outing.

Just as society revolves around food, our family revolves around eating a gluten and corn free diet, and as a mother, I think about and plan around it for every meal.

Perhaps a little history would shed some light on the topic – why we even have such a strict diet.

Technically, my son is very healthy!

I took him to the doctors to be tested for allergies!

He has none.  And yet certain foods are very,very bad for him!!!

My husband and I knew when my son was just 2 years old that certain foods were affecting his behavior.  BIG time!! and we worked together to find which foods and eliminate them.

As parents, we could see our son becoming more impulsive and hyper after foods with artificial coloring – so that was the first ingredient we removed.  We started reading ingredients and began shopping at Trader Joes.

The kids and I even started making our own candy! We colored our peppermints with blueberry juice!!


Then one day my son got sick and he needed amoxicillin.  I was thankful that the pharmacy had stopped putting the pink dye in it… however, the bubble gum flavor was not an option! I gave my son his first dose… and, boy, talk about a reaction!  He was a sick kid that suddenly became very hyper!!  I refused to give him any more doses and convinced the doctor to let me have capsules to break open and put in applesauce for him.

From that experience on, we began removing artificial flavors from his (and our) diets.

While we saw an improvement in Eli’s behavior concerning hyper-activeness and impulsivity, we saw a spike in anxiety and depression.  When we would go shopping, he would cry and bury his face into my shoulder when the cashier talked to us.  At Sunday School, where I was his teacher, he would throw toys and hit kids just to make them get away from him.  I was embarrassed by his behavior and I would go home and weep for my son 😦

I would find comfort in researching and googling information about children with anxiety.  Article after article talked about gluten being a trigger food for such behaviors.  So… my husband and I thrust our family into the new world of being gluten free.  And, boy was it hard!  But, boy was it worth it!  We could see our son changing 🙂

Instead of being anxious of strangers and new situations, he became just shy.  Instead of crying and crying and crying for what appeared to be no reason, I saw my son smile… a lot!!

We were gluten free for at least 6 months, when I felt that there was still one last trigger food – meaning my son could go from being happy and sweet to being very angry and upset.  I guess it was a mother’s intuition.

Again, I found comfort in researching and googling food allergies.  And during one of these said searches I read a sentence that changed our life!  The sentence said, “corn gives my son the meanies.”  A light bulb went off in my head and I knew that we had  to at least try and see if corn was giving  my son the meanies!

It was almost 1 year ago to the day that we removed all corn and corn derived products from our house!

There were the obvious foods like corn chips and popcorn… but did you know that salt is iodized with corn!  Citric acid mostly comes from corn, not lemons!  Suddenly, we lost a lot of food!

Through countless trial and errors, it became very obvious that corn was just as bad as gluten!

So, that is how we, my husband and I, manipulated  our son’s diet to rescue him from a world of crying and anger!  I don’t understand the how and why – but I see the results!  Being on a gluten free and corn free diet is the best thing to ever happen to my family!!  It has allowed my son to know happiness 🙂

So… that brings us back to my early Mother’s Day gift.

My husband found me this adorable vintage picnic bag!!!

I didn’t even know a vintage picnic bag existed… But they do!

Not only is the bag super cute – it comes with two thermoses and a sandwhich box!

Why would I need two thermoses? Ever drank after a child? Yuck!! LOL 🙂

One thermos for mama and another for children!! Perfect 😃

The sandwich box will never actually see a sandwich…

However it will fit quite a bit of raw fruits and veggies!! Yummy 🙂

Once fast food and restaurants are out of the picture, you have to give considerable consideration to how you will feed your family when you are out and about!

Having a way to tote your food around and drink around is actually a big deal!!

I am super thankful for my new bag with matching thermoses and fruit/veggie box 😉!

Upcycle an old porch-swing frame into a stage

Anyone have an old frame for a porch swing?

Don’t know what to do with it?

Let me show you what we did with ours when the kids were younger!

Take a shower curtain liner (so it doesn’t get yucky in the rain) and hang it on the top pole with shower curtain hooks.

* you can cut the curtain in half if you want so it can open and close more like a stage)

Then…watch as your children do tricks and shows for you!

From dog house to play house

Years ago we bought a used dog house off of craigslists – and turned it into a chicken coop!

Unfortunately, we lost a few hens to a hungry raccoon 😢

In order to keep our last hen, Apple Rose, safe we put her in a hutch my sister made. (We let her free range everyday, under supervision.)

So… this left an unused dog house turned chicken coop.

My middle son asked if it could be his play house – and of course I said yes!



… I’ll have to keep an eye out for another vintage mailbox!

A Fairy Garden… in a bird bath!

I don’t really know who wanted a fairy garden more… me or my daughter 😉

I had a great idea to “borrow” my mother-in-law’s birdbath and turn it into a fairy garden.

At first my husband wasn’t too keen on the idea… he hates birdbaths because he says they are mosquito breeders – and he’s a mosquito magnet (he’s already been bitten up this spring!). I convinced him that there would be no water collection in this one!  The key is filling up the bath with gravel or rocks.


The fun part has been collecting things to put in the fairy garden…

The fairies are ceramic and have weathered nicely outside!


Amongst the fairies are old salt shakers, broken ceramic animals, fake greenery, doll furniture, and plastic figurines.


The kids always have their eyes open for things to add… which means in a month or two, there will probably be quite a crowd in the fairy garden!