I'm turning Japanese. I think I'm turning Japanese. I really think so.

Calendar printable from KFStudio

It's Monday and we could use some fun. And Japanese fun is the way to go! Here are a few of my fave links for Japanese downloads and Japanese illustrations. Plan to spend a good amount of time checking out each site. You won't want to leave your computer. Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for hungry kids, a hungry husband nor low ink levels.

Turn Japanese for a day:
Meri Boo
Fruits Chew
Paper Museum


If life gives you half and half, make ICECREAM!

We have never done homemade ice cream. I've wanted to make our own ice cream since reading over all of Just Jenn's AWESOME ice cream recipes. Mmmmmmm. Since I follow the old adage "out of sight, out of mind", the recipes have never become anything more than fond memories. But, summer brings many surprises and this afternoon we gave homemade ice cream a whirl.

Earlier this week I had come across this very neat-o recipe for homemade ice cream via The Crafty Crow who found it via Toddlebits who found it via Family Fun. It's linkapalooza. This recipe is so super easy, so super fast and so super yummy that you'll be eating ice cream in 7 minutes flat. Guaranteed. All you need are some plastic baggies, kosher or ice cream salt, vanilla, half and half, sugar and ice. Oh, and you need some strong arms. I recruited my hubby. His shakin' turned this bag of cream:

into a bowl of delish vanilla ice cream:

So, make it ice cream night tonight!


When you least expect it... Knit Happens

Knitting tends to come in spurts for me. It definitely is hard to find time to sit down with my needles and yarn when I am at the beck and call of two pint-sized Czars. But, after a sprinkling of Czar-free minutes here and there, I've been able to get this far with the Prickly Girl tank from Knitty:

This is only the front piece which isn't much considering my knitting will need to amount to this:

Image from Knitty

All in good time though. With the heat thick as caramel the kids are spending more and more time in the inflatable pool. The pool is a ghastly eyesore. But, if it gives me an hour or two every now and then to exercise the ol' fingers, then three cheers for bright blue plastic.


You'll only care about this post if you live in or around Fresno

I don't follow much sports let alone college sports. But, around our neck of the woods you couldn't help but follow the College World Series. Our local Fresno State Bulldogs (the underdogs in the land of College Baseball) were in the run for the National Championship and last night they pulled it off by beating the University of Georgia 6 to 1. Awesome!!! Way to go Bulldogs!!! Most news is calling it a Cinderalla Story. And it kind of is. The Bulldogs definitely started out low-man on the totem pole. If you are interested to read more about it, check out Sports Illustrated's story.

Congrats to the Fresno State Bulldogs!!! (And thanks for putting the little city, Fresno, on the map for a day.)
Image from the Fresno Bee



We played it cool today by mostly staying indoors. 102 degree weather is a wee bit on the hot side for us. Indoors can be fun. The kids painted and blew bubbles. It was a wonderful and sweat-free way to welcome summer.

Letting the creative juices flow.


Watch out! Big bubble!



Okay, I'm still thinking about Pushing Daisies and all its sweet greatness. This scene just melts my heart. It's cheese on top of cheese with a side o' cheese. Gotta love it. *Le sigh*


Summer TV Blows

As much as I love summer, summer TV sucks the big one. The only thing I am currently enjoying is Last Comic Standing. It's still pretty early in the comics race, but my hopes stand with Heath Hyche. I nearly busted a gut with his audition routine. It's too hard to describe but it involved a football suit and a dummy. Good times were had in my little world of geekdom.

The one show I keep twirling my thumbs for is the lovely, creative, smart, quirky, easy on the eyes, Pushing Daisies. Where, oh where, has my Pushing Daisies gone? Thanks to the friggin' writer's strike it's been too long since I've seen Chuck and Ned.

Gad, how I miss that show. The latest rumor is that they will return and I hope it's true. For now I bide my TV time with Spongebob (always a pleaser), The Mighty B (weird and strange but I'm oddly drawn to it) and Last Comic Standing (go Heath!). Any summer TV suggestions?


A habit of giving

It seems that when you give you always receive something as well.. it can be smile when you give someone a hearty hello, it can be a warm tummy when you give someone a surprise gift or it can be a simple "thank you" after you've given a teary eyed friend a hug. Sometimes you can give to someone who is way out of your reach. And what you receive is still close at heart.

For a little over a year now I've subscribed to a wonderful magazine named KIWI. It is a magazine from which I draw a lot of inspiration. It is a magazine about families and growing those families "the natural and organic way." The magazine continually offers awesome ways to be a part of the world and to help make it a better place to live. KIWI recently asked for support of earthquake victims in China. If you donate $15 or more to Half the Sky, you get much needed supplies to children in China and you get a subscription to KIWI. These are children who have lost family members in the earthquake. If you are interested in donating, check out Global Giving who has teamed up with KIWI to spread the word about China's need for help.

The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.
-Walt Witman


A Flickr Meme


1. Vanessa cardui..., 2. Haloumi Cheese, Zaatar & Tomato Pizzas, 3. Silver Creek Field, 4. Happy Yellow, 5. Nick Hexum, 6. "Chai" tea, 7. The last sunray - Barcelona, 8. Sweet Cherry Pie, 9. Colors for peace, 10. The Calvo Family - Holidays, 11. seeker, 12. shawnimal

I haven't done a meme in ages, but this one was too cool and fun to pass up. I found the meme via Zazazu. Good times. Here are the details if you wish to play along too:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
b. Using only the first page, pick an image
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker

Here are Ze Questions
1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One word to describe you.

12. Your Flickr name.

My answers to the above questions and what was searched for in Flickr
1. Vanessa

2. Pizza

3. Silver Creek

4. Happy Yellow

5. Nick Hexum (from 311)

6. Chai tea

7. Europe

8. Cherry pie

9. Peaceful

10. Family

11. Seeker

12. formyspace

Please leave me a comment if you play along. Don't be shy. I just want to check out your results. Have fun!


Made me smile


Image from Yeondoon Jung

The talk of this site has been bouncing around in the blogosphere and if you haven't had a chance to check it out, please do. Korean artist, Yeondoon Jung, has turned pages of children's drawings into the most amazingly happy and colorful photos I've ever seen. I can't pick my favorite. The above pic along with a few others puts a silly smile on my heart. What joy!


Snips and Snails and...

Aaah, the beauty of little boys. My Luke is such a little ball of roughandtumbleness. He'd rather punch you in the arm than hug you when he greets you. He's all about cars and superheroes and comic books. He lives and thrives in the dirt. He delights in taunting his sister when she has a friend over. He can't sit still for a meal and he eats 'round the clock. He hugs me when I spill something and says, "It's okay, Momma." He loves to laugh and will do anything to get you to laugh with him. His "Stan Laurel" smiles are super contagious. His "I Love Yous" melt my heart and today he turns 5. What was once this:


is now this:


I don't know how time slipped by me so fast. I guess time really does fly by when you're having fun. Happy Birthday, Buddy!


Do you care for tea? Why, yes. I'm very fond of tea.

My Birthday Haiku
A lovely tea lunch
Spent with two girls I so love
Happiness fills me