On the second day of school we were walking up to the school to get Jackson and found a little friend. We offered it to Jackson’s teacher thinking she might like a fun little thing for the kids to watch….she held back a shriek and rejected the poor little guy. So, we took him home and put him in our fanciest old spaghetti sauce jar with holes punched in the top.  I’m telling you, we lucked out. About 2 days later the butterfly had formed into a chrysalis. It remained that way for about 2 weeks. At that point I noticed it was looking much darker. It appeared to be turning black. I was worried that it was dying and getting moldy but at closer look it was actually the darkness of the black wings forming. The next morning we woke up to a beautiful swallowtail  butterfly.
















stunning home, huh?







it appeared to attach to the stick by a few small strings…it looked so delicate but amazingly strong enough to withhold  the ear hands that jostled it.







almost there







ta da….













no one’s home! pretty impressive handywork!

We let her go after breakfast. It was a super windy morning so she hung out on our flowers out front most of the morning. Owen and I checked it out later in the morning and she blew onto the sidewalk. Yes, she was a she to us. Not sure how all of that works with butterflies. But she was a she to us. Anyhow, when she decided to fly it took her a little while to get the hang of it but we sat and watched her figure it out. Owen cheered as she began to get higher and higher!

It was such a neat process to watch. Those of you that know me know that my first instinct would not be to have a big caterpillar sitting in my kitchen but these boys are pulling me into their excitement and I might, I just might have a bit of my mom in me. She was notorious for hiding a fawn in the shed at boarding school to keep as a pet, attempting to break a wild horse behind the school gym and had a collection of monkeys and toucans.  No joke.

our not so fortunate guy (yes, this one was a guy) lived in another spaghetti jar paradise but only enjoyed it for a couple of days!

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open windows

The air is crisp and breezy here today. The house is peaceful…at the moment…and as the breeze blows through our open windows the pumpkin spice candle is working away on the kitchen counter. I love fall! Good hair days, pulling out the cozies, a reason to cook comfort foods and little boys that are much morel likely to want to cuddle.  Sure we are fighting the traditional runny noses and the everyday tiffs but something about the sunshine and cooler air helps to make things not so stressful.  So if you are one of our dear friends or family in Texas I recommend cranking up the A/C, lighting a yummy candle, baking one of those great pumpkin spice recipes and just pretend with me. It’s good, I promise!

This morning our little chipmunk friend “Chippy” was working the early shift. He was filling those chipmunk cheeks with nuts and bustling them past my window next to my desk. He must know something we don’t know about the upcoming winter. He’s working like it’s going to be a long, cold winter.  Eeeek.   Not sure I am prepared for that…better just savor fall for now.

Op, I hear foot steps now. Better run. Just wanted to say a quick hello from our house to yours! Our week is off to a good start, hope yours is too!




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It’s been a while since I set this space up and I realized that I am long overdue on adding some of my latest favorite blogs.


I have gotten to know a few of these ladies better than others but all are writing great things. Some blogging about decorating and home goodness, foreign-servicing (yes that’s a verb), others faith. It’s a variety.

The first is Hot Pot: Life Lessons from Overseas. Dani keeps it real about the overseas experience with a little one. If she didn’t I couldn’t read her stuff. She gets out and about and really savors where she is. She takes great pictures too! Check her out!

The next is Stumble Abroad…Ana Gaby is a fellow momma to two boys! Need I say more?! She is also a writer on World Moms Blog. She and her husband are globetrotters and doing it gracefully with kids!  Ana Gaby is keeping it real too, seeing a pattern here!

Dwell on Joy   is a great newish blog that i discovered recently. She posts nice simple recipes and lots of everyday life projects, gift wrapping, life with kids kind of stuff!

A Barefoot Day is an encouraging space where Meg shares her daily life and things she enjoys. She posts a weekly menu and she isn’t putting on a fru fru show….she, like these others keeps it real!

Our Yuppie Life  is another great blog about life overseas with kids. Sara and her family live in Ethiopia and she recently started selling baked goods in her area…a big temptation of mine when overseas!

So I just added all of these to our blog roll!  Happy reading!

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I said I would hop back on with some fall recipes and here I am! Pumpkin it is today!

Tonight I made a great soup. I have to admit that it took a little bravery to try. Not that anything is super unusual about it but I have a hard time mixing savory with sweet. The recipe comes from Edie over at Life In Grace. I came across Edie’s blog a while back when her gorgeous home burned down and the blog community was jumping in to support her and bless her socks off as she rebuilt her families home.  If you have time you should check out more of her blog. I enjoy her blog and she often has great recipes so when I saw her recipe for Chipotle Pumpkin Barley Soup with chicken I knew I had to try it. We love chipotle peppers in adobo so I knew that was a plus and I have been wanting to use barley. I have eaten it but never cooked with it. Although I am not into the fad diets as I mentioned yesterday I am interested in cooking with grains and things that are good for us. So, 2 points for the soup. The drawbacks for me were the cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. I know from making butternut squash soup that it works but for some reason I fight it every time. I can’t wrap my baking brain around those spices being for a savory soup. But, I went with it and it was delicious. It had a nice smokiness from the peppers and I even thought it was yummy enough before I added the cream. Speaking of cream, I substituted half and half but  again I think you can eat it before adding anything at the end!  And the best part, the boys ate it and enjoyed it! Packed with veggies and spice! Click on her blog link above if you want to give it a try!  I served it with a salad and some crusty bread. I tried looking back to confirm but I am pretty sure Edie made up this recipe. Impressive! Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of it but she has a picture that will entice you!  And for you ladies around the world, if you can’t find canned pumpkin but you have access to smaller pumpkin just cut it in half down the middle, roast until soft, scoop out and then puree in a food processor or blender. Then just substitute it for the same amount as the can.

With the leftover pumpkin I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for the boys to have for an after school snack. They were a hit! This is the recipe I used from The Joy of Baking blog! They turned out great and were quick to make. They can also be made into a loaf.

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