Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Catch-up

Summer has arrived in Kansas and we've already spent a good amount of time catching up on our some of our favorite summer activities. 

Yesterday was Independence Day and we spent the day as a family with my mom joining us as well.  Tori has recently become fascinated with the Titanic and has read several books on the sinking as well as done a tour in Branson, MO on the Titanic exhibit.  She hadn't yet seen the movie Titanic so we sat down and watched the whole thing together.  I still can't make it through the film without crying; it is such a wonderful love story, as cheesy as it might be.  I think Tori really liked it.  We grilled out and had way too much food but it was all so good - Bourbon Pineapple Pork Chops, Cottage Fries, Homegrown Green Beans with ham hock,  Dill Cucumbers, Grilled Pineapple, Elote, and Baked Beans.  For dessert we made S'mores.  I also tried out my new fruit fusion pitcher and we made some strawberry water.  It was all so good. We also picked up some firecrackers to set off in the lawn and I had a nice time watching the girls run around with sparklers and chasing fireflies.  It felt nostalgic and rightly appropriate for the special occasion.

We did do some shopping over the weekend and...

I picked up some new craft books:

Materially Crafted: A DIY Primer For The Design-Obsessed by Victoria Hudgins
Embroidery: A Step-By-Step Guide To More Than 200 Stitches by Lucinda Ganderton
The Jewelry Recipe Book by Nancy Soriano.

I can't wait to dive into these.  I've actually already started with The Jewelry Recipe book as the girls and I have been into jewelry making lately. 

I made these plastic and gold chain bracelets a few months ago.

I've also been working on a lot of bohemian-friendship style bracelets.  I really like incorporating them with chain to make them last longer and easier to take off and put back on.
I am still working on getting Hobby & Hound up and running.  Mostly, I need to stop planning things and actually doing more of them as I have plenty of supplies and just need to make the time to work on them. I get distracted when I sit down in my office... bills to pay, blogs to read, Sons of Anarchy to watch (don't get me started on SOA... It seems like such a weird show for me to get interested in yet I am.. and flying through the series at lightening speed). 
Other summer things we've been doing include our normal excessive eating of watermelon, strawberries, and Italian ice. We've taken two trips so far -- Branson, MO and a cruise to Cozumel, MX, Belize City, Belize, and Roatan, Honduras.  I'll leave the details of those for another post or two.  I hope we can do one more small getaway this summer before school starts.  Plenty of reading.  The girls are heavily into comics right now (as well as Josh) so we make at least weekly visits to our local comic book store to pick up the latest releases. 
I have been reading quite a bit myself.  I recently finished The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.  It was a fast read for me as I had to know all the answers to the mysteries in this story. I love haunted house stories and this one read like a classic.  I'll be checking out more of Wendy Webb as soon as I get all the other to-reads caught up on.  Other books I've enjoyed are: Tampa by Alissa Nutting and Play On by Mick Fleetwood.  I caution anyone who picks up to Tampa to be prepared to a graphic modern day Lolita where the woman does the seducing of young teen boys.  While it was very interesting and well written, there were times when I just didn't want to read anymore. 
Lastly, the girls have finally gotten their Youtube channel up and running.  They've got about ten videos in the can in needing of dad's editing (which he's doing as we speak) so hopefully you will stop by and check out the PiggyChallengers.