samantha liz

December 2011 archive

365 Memories – 365, 365

For the final 365 of 2011, we decided to print up all the photos that I took over the last year. I went into the 365 wanting to improve my photography skills, but as it turns out I improved so much more.

We made a ton of memories in the process, and just looking at all those days, realizing how they flew by, reminds me to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of EVERY DAY.

Happy New Year!
It was a wonderful ride! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Happy 2012.

The Story of a Tree.

Last week as Molly and I were playing in the yard, she looked up at our trees and said, “Mommy, I wish that the trees still had leaves on them, they are so pretty with their leaves!” I explained to her that trees lose their leaves in autumn so that when winter comes they not only have a nice blanket from the fallen leaves to keep them warm, but also the snow would collect on their leaves and break their branches and hurt the tree. She nodded and agreed, but I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to do some paper cutting to illustrate the concept.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Fridays I’ll be talking about what we’ve been doing in our homeschooling adventures that week. Aptly named Home Free. 🙂

Introducing: The Story of a Tree.

First, you need soil. Then, of course, a seed.

Our story starts with soil and a seed.

Clouds come in. With the clouds come rain.

In comes clouds and rain, providing the seed with much needed water and draining the soil of its nutrients.

Plenty of sun. The seed sprouts!

Soon to follow is the sun which tells all the plants it’s time to grow! The seed sprouts.

Then grows in to a tree! The tree keeps growing with many leaves.

It grows strong and tall and sprouts many leaves.

If trees didn't lose their leaves, snow would gather on them and break their branches. Pretty Colors! So good think the leaves change colors.

If trees didn’t lose their leaves, snow would gather on them and break their branches. {Ha! I didn’t expect them to have so much fun breaking their trees!!} So instead, the leaves change colors in autumn before the snow comes.

And gently fall to the ground.

They gently fall to the ground, creating a nice warm bed to insulate the roots for the snow fall.

To protect the tree by creating a nice blanket. When snow comes it falls past the branches.

When the snow comes it passes safely past the tree’s branches and onto the ground.

Many days and nights pass. The sun comes out and the snow melts and the leaves decompose into soil. In comes the rain and the leaves sprout again.

{The kids came up with this part} Many days and nights pass and the winter is over, the sun and rains come again and leaves return to the strong tree once again. The end.


Then the kids made their own pictures:
Free time!!
Thomas created a spring picture.

"Me, Walking on the Sidewalk" - 365, 364
Molly’s “Me, Walking on the Sidewalk” – 365, 364 (My 364 of my 365! Eek!! Only one more left!!)

Marcus got in on our school time too!
Marcus even got in on the fun today.

Molly, Thomas, and Molly had a great time!

Then, I hung up their beautiful artwork on my refrigerator. Hooray for the weekend! We are home free. 🙂

What Are You Doing New Year’s?


Me? Oh I don’t think I’m headed anywhere but home… But NOW since Thursdays in 2012 will be sewing days {insert happy dance here}, I can be all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Sew What?

Well, I started out with Simplicity 2180…
Simplicity 2180

…and modded it for knits…
Skirt Portion

…oh yeah! I was toying around the idea of adding rosettes to the neckline, but ended up putting them in my hair instead.

Pondering Rosettes Ended up in my hair ;)


Oh, that’s right… the skirt was pink in that picture up there, isn’t it?

It’s reversible too.
Look, Molly! It's reversible!
(please ignore the dorky pose on this one, well, I guess ignore the dorky poses on all of them, but this one especially as Molly jumped in front of me at the last second.)

So, I’ll ask my question again. What are you doing new year’s eve? Or more importantly, what are you wearing??

Organized Nap Time. – 365, 363

Organized Nap Time. – 365, 363, originally uploaded by Fluttering By.

The older Marcus gets, the more intentional he is becoming with his sleeping. Some days he’ll even walk up to me and sign "sleep" and reach up his arms. Other days he needs a little direction.

You know like today.

Poor kid was walking into walls.

I turned on some music and laid down with him for what could have only been 30 seconds, turned on my iPhone camera and caught this shot.

Letting the cat out of the bag.

So, since you’ve seen yesterday’s addition to my weekly activities it only seems fitting that I introduce you to what I did today…

Yup. On Wednesdays for 2012, I’ll be doing a little work and letting you in on my secrets.

What do you think?

Texas Roadhouse Rolls?

I’m starting a new 365. Well… more like a couple 52s.

Every Tuesday for the year of 2012 I will cook/bake something new. This week, as part of my pre-52 trial run, I added some dinner rolls to our menu tonight of Lemon Chicken Piccata with rice and sugar snap peas.
Mixing up the dough.

I found a recipe on pinterest for Texas Roadhouse Rolls – Copycat Style. I knew right off the bat that it wasn’t *actually* like Texas Roadhouse Rolls when reading the original blog post about it, but since she said they were soft and good I thought why not!

Since I modified it for dairy free (with almond milk and earth balance), I was afraid that it would mess something up and not rise well.
Rise #1
Yeah, uhh, apparently that wasn’t an issue. So, I went on to roll out the dough and make individual buns.

Rolled out and separated. Rise #2

They rose again for a second time and went in the oven!

All Done!
Here’s what they looked like all done. Pretty yummy, right?

Enjoyed with rice and sugar snaps!
Dinner was pretty much a win.

Okay, full disclosure time…The center ones didn’t completely cook through and were a bit on the doughy side. Next time I’ll use two pans and space them out more. Not bad for the first try though, so we’ll definitely be having these again!

hello monday {holiday style}

This past weekend was filled with family and fun. My beautiful sister and her wonderful husband came all the way from NY State to come celebrate Christmas with us. It was pretty much the best christmas present I could have asked for.

The kids immediately took to Aunt Marta and Uncle Kurt.
hello Aunt Marta and Uncle Kurt! I’m so happy the kids warmed up to you guys immediately.

Warm and Cozy
hello warm and cozy sweaters from Grandma New York.

Chatting it up in her play dress.
hello play dresses inspiring an impromptu faux phone conversation.

hello christmas eve dinner at Grandma and Grandpas!

Molly loves her Uncle Kurt too!
hello playtime with Uncle Kurt!

Reindeer Food!
hello putting reindeer food outside christmas eve!

hello to perfect gifts for little boys.

Gotta love a ladder with a bow!
hello to perfect gifts for the big boys too.

Christmas Dinner!
hello family time on christmas, it was nice to see my dining room table full.

Some of my favorite men.
hello two of my favorite guys.

My other two favorite guys.
hello to the other two favorites.

Winter Hugs - 365, 360
Winter Hugs – 365, 360

hello winter hugs with Aunt Marta! We are sad that you are leaving us today, but happy we will see you again soon!

I’m linking up with Lisa Leonard for the first time today and her lovely hello monday link up.