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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

some of my favorite childhood books

As a child I always loved to read.  I give that credit to my parents.  Growing up in Seattle we spent a lot of time outside using our imagination. Mom and Dad used to take us not only to the Library on a regular basis but since my Dad was a student at the the U we spent a fair amount of time at the Bookstore.

My mom would spend hours reading to us girls. One of my favorite childhood authors was Stephen Cosgrove.  He wrote the Serendipity series of books.  Wonderful books with a moral always attached.
 Today I got to read one of those books with Henry and I am so looking forward to Cameron reading one to me today for his final book report for the quarter.  My absolute favorite is the Wheedle on the Needle.

Wheedle is a very grumpy orange sasquatch who is upset with all the people moving to Seattle.  All he wants is a quiet place to sleep, but he is finding that this is close to impossible. When he heads for the top of the Space Needle and unleashes a never-ending rainfall, everyone stays indoors, and the city is quiet once again. Now, it's the Seattleites who are grumpy — who wants to stay inside all the time? Is there a solution that makes everyone happy?

Being a Seattleite this is a classic.

Go to the library check these books out.  They are wonderful!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

getting focused on gluten free again

Since it has been my issue mostly, that is the issue of gluten, as a Mama it becomes easy to put your health on the back burner.  I know "shame on me", after all it is just an intolerance right?  Yes, true but none the less I have felt horrible lately.  Now I am forced to face the fact that we quite possibly need to be gluten free for Cameron's sake also.

We tried the dairy free diet last year at this time thinking it might be a link for him with the Asperger's.  After 8 long and torturous weeks to a family that loves dairy we saw no difference.  Dr. Hoffman has suggested the gluten free route which I was relieved at.  Crazy as it sounds it is much easier for this family to be gluten free instead of dairy free.  I have a good friend, Mrs. C., who has recently gone gluten free for other health reasons.  She is doing great and is my inspiration that I can do this again. Thank you Mrs. C! 

I have also recently met a Mom through a local Holistic Mom's Network here.  Elizabeth has a wonderful blog celebrating their adventure in life which includes being gluten free due to a wee one with celiacs.  Please check her out, she is quite the inspiration.

I am spending my time not only preparing for the Celebration of our Savior's Birth, Green Acres Closet but also getting my house back on track to be gluten free again.  I need to do this cost effectively and tasty.

I have found some wonderful  recipes from Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess.  Karina also has a wonderful post on being gluten free on a budget.  I would love any tips or ideas on keeping this lifestyle budget friendly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

what's happening at green acres?

We have been busy as usual. November had the Auction and Thanksgiving. I finished my Perfect Picnic blanket for the Auction and now it is being enjoyed by a fellow STM family.
Mr. Miller finally got his promotion from the Big Green Tractor Company. Wahoo!
Green Acres Closet has us busy, busy, busy. Mr. Miller has also assumed the position of Shipping Department Guru!
I finally found the time to finish the Christmas decorating, the shopping is a different story. I am trying to buy local and handmade. Make it myself even. I know it will be a "slimmer" Christmas per say but it will definitely be from the heart. Hope you all are well and enjoying this Blessed Time of year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

thanksgiving blessings

This Thanksgiving I took on the task of hosting our family dinner. My sister Erika said I was crazy to even attempt to seat 20 for a formal dinner in my quaint little home. Many of you know that I am not one to back down on a challenge. Well as you can see below I did it.

We may have been a little cramped, but what are family functions for? We gathered, shared stories of our hectic lives, gave thanks and broke bread together. I think it was perfect, almost just like a Walton's Thanksgiving. I didn't have a long enough room for a 18 foot table so we settled for moving my dining room table into the living room and making a 12 foot in the dining room. I do have to thank my sisters for clean up and the brother in laws for helping to move my house back to original placements. I love you all!
I hope you all had a day full of blessings and reflections of the bountiful gifts we are given in this life. I know I did.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

hello again...

No I have not been abducted by small children, laundry or aliens. Plain and simple I have bitten off more than I should have in the last 3 weeks. Here is a brief run down.

1. Big changes at Cam's school with one of our very favorite teachers leaving. Mrs. O has been an amazing part of Cameron's continued success in school. I truly feel she is a gift from God and we will miss her at STM but we are lucky enough at Green Acres that we get to still see her. Yep she has definitely been granted family status here. Yes, that goes for her whole family. I have learned that during this transition my child as well as the 37 other kids directly affected by her leaving are truly supported. We had over 100 people at the school board meeting last week and things are going to get turned around.

2. Hit the big 41 on the 10Th. I am 41 and definitely embracing this one!

3. STM Auction, whew let's just say that I am glad it is done! I donated a Perfect Picnic Blanket in Pinks and Greens.

4. Finally I have been focusing a lot on Green Acres Closet and I am proud to announce that I am in the talks with 3 retailers on carrying my line. Healthy Baby Boutique in Newton and Wichita, Kansas will be getting their first shipment by the end of the week. I am continuing to sew and I know the etsy looks a little thin but don't worry the workshop is full of wool and I am constantly sewing. I will have more listed this week.

Thank you all for inspiring me in so many ways to follow my dreams.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

loving eco-sprout


Savoring Summer Weekends 013

Part of doing cloth diapers is washing the diapers.  Trust me I don’t love this task but I am used to it.  Plus I like that I am saving money, the earth and protecting my Junior Mint’s bum from harsh chemicals.

So back to laundry, I found a new love in my routine.  Eco-Sprout.  Great laundry product.  I have always battled “stinkies” with my diapers.  For those of you wondering what “stinkies” are, it is when there is a build up of soap product mixed with bacteria and you can get a musty or ammonia smell.  Funky I know.  So I decided to try Eco Sprout.  LOVE IT!  I followed his directions on his web site for getting the “stinkies” out and it worked beautifully.  I am “de-stinking” the rest of the stash now.  We have also tried his bottom balm and it is just as great.

If you use cloth, try this.  We are even using it on the household laundry too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

arnica ~ a must have

A couple of weeks ago at Happybottomus we had our Holistic Moms Meeting, by the way this group meets every 2ND Thursday at Happybottomus at 6pm. Great group of women who share a lot of knowledge. Any ways they had a speaker by the name of Juel Rice, amazing Classical Homeopathic.

She spoke to us about our "must haves" if you will in your medicine cabinet. The one I am going to share about is Arnica. She told us that in any trauma situation from an injury to upsetting news it is a must. Be it orally or in the form of the gel. She said that it had an overwhelming calming and soothing effect.

Last night we put it to the test. On Saturday when I left work I twisted my ankle, slight sprain no big deal. Well last night we were finishing getting current on leaf cleanup, you know that never ending nemesis this time of year, I was working in the back and I stepped wrong off of the pathway. Well lets just say I felt a pull and I knew it wasn't good and of course I kept working through the pain because the rain is coming and we had a mess. I decided also to keep this to myself until I was finished and that part made Mr. Miller quite upset. I just told him that is why I had him to make it better. That part is true because he may be in the "green tractor" industry but that paper on the wall from Washburn University says BA in Athletic Training. He has a lot of experience in taping ankles from his days on the sidelines with the Ichabods. (I must squeeze in "Go Bods" as we are number 3 in the MIAA right now.)

Back to the root of the story, we came in showered and immediately got the ice and put the ankle up. As I was sitting I remembered Juel's list so I had Mr. Miller get the Arnica gel and we rubbed it in. WOW, it really helped in a number of ways. Calming of the situation, soothed the pain and helped the bruising. I really believe in this. I have used it on the boys over the years for different ailments and now it will be a regular in this house.

Juel suggests the Boiron label. That is what we have in the gel form, tonight I am going to get the tablets to have also.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a good time was had…

My hunny pot and clone trooper.  History of the hunny pot is that we bought this costume for my oldest niece who is now 20.  Her brother Nate and sister Makennah wore it also.  6 years ago Cameron wore it and last night it gave its swan song so to speak.  I love this costume.  I think Mama/Aunt Meg will put it away for the next generation of babies.


Before the party…

DSCN0081DSCN0083Our best “trick or treat”.

We went to the Mauer’s last night.  Cathlin and Mitch always have a great Halloween bash.  It was a beautiful night and we enjoyed kids, friends, good food and an evening on the patio watching the Chiefs game via a projection TV.   





Our welcoming committee as we entered.


Mitch our host amazing Deputy Fire chief for KC by day and monkey man at night.



Henry always zeros in on the sand table at Hannah’s.

We had an amazing time.  Thank you so much Mauers, Cameron said it best this morning ~ “Mama, that was the best Halloween ever and even the Chiefs won!”.  I love that kid.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

double take

I went to get a prescription last night for my Cameron, he has strep. YUCK! He is on the mend this morning but none the less I kept him home with me today. He wasn’t to happy since he will miss “Trunk or Treat” tonight at school. Mama to the rescue! We are going to have our own Halloween Palooza here. We will carve our pumpkins, watch the “Great Pumpkin” (a must see), have popcorn and the boys and I will make cookies this afternoon. Not bad planning for 6:30 am with a crying boy.

Back to the purpose of today’s post, I received this text while I was out:

october 2011

I always thought he looked like Pops, but wow there are definite Mr. Miller genes in there too. Especially when wearing Daddy's glasses.

DSCN0302 But when you put the 3 together, hmmm. Genetics are amazing.

Cameron 116Cameron was 2 in this picture, 3 generations strong. I think he will continue to grow into a pretty great guy in looks, generosity, faith and life, just look at his Pops and Mr. Miller.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

balancing act

I am working on my circus routine, you know the balancing act that we all do when we have a lot going on.  Trust me I am not complaining, I am merely getting my balancing act back.

This last week was my first one where I worked 3 days out of the home at Happybottomus, shhh I am loving the retail gig again.  I never, I mean NEVER thought those words would come out of my mouth again.

Green Acres Closet is doing better than expected.  I am having sales in the Etsy Store and I have 2 retailers working out the fine details of carrying my line.  The Lord has blessed us greatly these days.  I am so thankful.  It really proved to me that if you relax, pray and turn it over HE will help you.

So this is where the balancing act comes in.  I am sewing a lot lately, trying to clean and organize, plus be mom and wife and lastly come up with fun marketing ideas for Brookie at the store.

Here is a look at what I am working on in my workshop.




I would love to chat more but Mama has to get moving today.  Laundry, shipping sold items, sewing and cleaning Junior Mints room are a few items begging for my attention today not to mention 3 special Miller Men in my life.  Hope all is well with you and enjoy this day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

:: this moment ::

~ a brief moment from out life that warms my heart…

inspired by Amanda Blake Soule


{Junior Mint and Pops playing on Cameron’s playground before the STM Chiefs football game.}

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

:: 8 ::


Cameron turned 8 yesterday, 8! How can that be?  It just seems like yesterday that I was holding this precious gift from God.

10-18-2011 10;50;41 AM

Now we are 8 and such a big boy.


We had a Lego/Star Wars party on Sunday with friends.  A very low key last night with Mama, Daddy and Henry.

DSCN0027 DSCN0028 DSCN0029

Cameron loved his Lego’s from Henry.  I will cherish the love right now, I know it won’t last forever.

Mama and Daddy got him his Clone Trooper Helmet.


Needless to say he loved it. 


I am still not sure who enjoyed it more.


Happy day!  No matter how old you get Cameron you are always my sweet boy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

leaf cleanup 101

On Friday I had a garage sale. It was a lovely Fall day and a great way to spend it outside.  Purge a little and get some jingle for the pocket book.

Cameron decided to show Livi and Henry how leaf cleanup is properly done.  Personally I am so glad he loves this task, Mr. Miller spent many a year as a landscaper and lets just say leaf cleanup with him is no picnic.  {Sorry honey}

First you need a foreman, Henry volunteered right away.

DSCN0001Second you need the designer so Livi was on that task. Nor only is she my fashion Diva but she is great at giving landscape advice.


You always have to have the crew.  Cameron not wanting to relinquish the rake spoke up for that part.  Plus I think he liked the control bit.  I don’t know where he gets that from. :)

DSCN0002Last you sometimes just have to sit back, relax and enjoy a job well done.




I hope you are all enjoying your Fall.  I know we are.  The beauty and splendor of God’s work never gets tiring.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

it just keeps giving

Henry and I went into the garden yesterday to start our clean up for the winter season.  Just when you think your harvest is done…

Look what we found.


It was a lovely surprise.  Henry was eating the tomatoes almost as fast as we could pick them.  We found the renegade onions in the beetle ravaged brussel sprouts.  The peppers were not so much a surprise as all the green beans we found.  I cooked them with one of the onions and some bacon last night.  They went perfect with the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. 

I think today I will clear out the green tomatoes and make relish with them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

an even dozen


our wedding_0005

12 years ago today in a little Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka,  Mr. Miller made me his Mrs. Miller.

our wedding_0007 I love you and I am looking forward to the next 12.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

making use of what you have

In these economic times we have to make choices.  This we all know to be true.  I have wanted to update Mr. Millers and my space for some time now. 

It had all the basic necessities plus the added junk in the corner, on the dresser, etc, etc, etc… Last week during nap time I went to work.  Here is the break down of what I did on a budget of $0.

1. Moved furniture.  Easy to do and plus you can do a good sweeping and dusting.  Trust me I love my hardwoods but they breed furry creatures.

2. Brought Mr. Millers chair in from the living room to give us a cozy little nook to read.  Hung artwork that needed to be moved.


3.  We have wanted new curtains for sometime.  I had long white panels that had been given to us by Dad and Linda years ago.  Nice curtains, just finally out of date.  You know they still had the tab ties at the top.  Simple I took them down and gave them a good washing, cut the tabs off and made a new pocket for the rod. 

4.  The window on my side needed updating too.  Same curtains but this time not only did I cut the tabs off and put new pockets, but I cut them in half to get a fuller look.  Also so they were not hanging to the floor and collecting dust.

DSCN3252(excuse the dimness of this pic my camera flash was not cooperating)

Yes now I know I  really need to paint and wouldn’t you know we have a gallon of paint just waiting to be used.  A beautiful shade of blue.  It will go so nice with the quilts and dark color of our menagerie of  wood furniture in the room.  By the way we bought this paint 3 years ago when we moved in and it just never made it onto the walls.  At the time I could blame it on being 10 weeks pregnant.  I can’t use that excuse anymore.

Don’t be afraid to look around your home and see what small changes you can make for no money.  You might be surprised.  Look at magazines and design web sites there are lots of ideas out there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

opening soon…



Yep that is my favorite billboard for my etsy store front.  I know he is almost out of fluff *sigh*, but I remind myself it will be about 2-3 less loads of laundry per week. 

My hope is that I can have the shop open again by this evening.  Cross your fingers.  I added a link to the side over here –>.

Here is some of what I will be listing at this point. 

DSCN3214Upcycled Wool Soakers.  $20

DSCN3218I am using both Wool Sweater and Merino Wool Interlock for the waistbands.  They all have the extra wet zone protection sewn in on the soakers. 


The Shorties - $21 and Longies - $22 will be made in various weights of wool for use all year long.

DSCN3215  I am using only 100% wool sweaters that I find on my Urban Treasure Hunts.  I love re purposing materials to keep our carbon footprint down.

I have been able to sew 3-4 per day at this point during nap.  On a side note:

My world is changing in so many directions.  Starting tomorrow I am going back to work, very part time.  I have some friends who own a natural parenting store here in Kansas City, Happybottomus, for you locals it is by the Whole Foods at 91st and Metcalf.  I am going to be helping them on Thursday evenings, Fridays and Saturdays.  It is going to be a change but I am welcoming it.  My sippy cup gang is becoming very part time and I, like many others, need to bring in some other resources for the family.  God answered our prayers for the right fit.  Mimi has graciously offered to come in from Topeka weekly to care for the boys on Fridays so they can keep their rhythm.  My friend Melissa, she is a saint, has offered to help with Junior Mint on Fridays if there is bad weather.  Several Mama’s at STM have offered help with Cameron after school in that situation.  It does take a village.  I am grateful, honored and feel at peace with this adventure.