Thursday, July 31, 2008


Daddy brought home a complete set of drums. No one here actually really knows how to play the drums. But we think we do.

We now have an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, a set of drums and a keyboard. And no one knows how to play any of them so that the music is actually recognizable. I guess the Partridge Family won't get any competition from us :)



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Play - often and outside.

A lovely and talented friend of mine "from across the pond" tells me that August 6th, 2008 is National PlayDay in England. Playful events will take place throughout the country on that day. Many events are organized by England's National Children's Bureau whose motto is: "Letting children go out to play is one of the best things that parents can do for their children's health."

I SO agree. In fact, not so long ago I created a Flickr group called No Child Left Inside in order to bring parents and caretakers together to share photos and exchange information about exploring the wonder and beauty of the outdoors with our children. The group currently has over 150 members ... and some amazing photos. Please check it out.
Then ... get off the computer and get outside to play ;)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Much Anticipated New Toy ...

... for Mommy :)

I just received a Nikon D300 ... a camera that I have been longing for for nearly a year. And I think I am in love. It is amazing how the "right tool for the job" makes all the difference.

Here is my very first picture taken with my new toy:

And here is a picture that I took after I read the manual:

This is going to be so much fun! Photography gives me so much joy.

What about you? What hobbies give you joy? And what "tools" do you long for to take your hobby to the next level?



Monday, July 28, 2008

Meaghan is Home.

Our sweet Meaghan is back from a two-week camping trip to the Tim Horton's Camp Kentahten in Kentucky. And I swear, she came back looking older, more mature and with a little extra joy in her step. What a "big girl" thing to do ... to fly out to camp, stay there without your parents, meet new friends, try new outdoor activities, etc. I never did such a thing in my youth, so can only imagine the excitement of it all.

However, while she was away, her parents were going a little *nutty* without her. (I would too). Her Grandmother (aka Mom) missed her terribly. Apparently it is one of the camps policies that the kids don't call home and vice versa ... and that was near torture for her parents. So, after Meaghan came off the plane, received all sorts of hugs, kisses and "Welcome home"s from her parents (aka grandparents), her cousin, Isaac and me ... and chatted endlessly about how much she thoroughly enjoyed her experience ... her Grandmother turned to her and said (in a very dead pan manner) "You are never doing that again." Meaghan's jaw dropped ... but I could barely contain my laughter. I knew what a hard time her parents were having with her absence, but I also knew that our Meaghan must have had the time of her life and that she likely didn't miss any of us... and would turn right around and head back to that camp for the rest of the summer if she could. Therefore, the whole scene felt rather comical. Her Grandmother began to explain that going two weeks without being able to talk to Meg was just too much ... the not knowing ... the missing ... etc. To which Meaghan replied (quite innocently), "But I was okay. I mean, no offense or anything, but I didn't miss any of you guys." Hilarious. I wish I video taped the exchange.

I suppose it was funny to me because it is so darn natural for our kids to begin to want to venture the world without us ... at the same time that we want so desperately for them to maintain some of their youthful dependence on us. I will experience this mother/child phenomenon soon enough ... and I won't find it so funny. But to watch it take place from a distance had me laughing with joy and wonder at the human experience.

Anyway, we are so glad to have Meaghan home. So thankful that she thoroughly enjoyed her time away. Isaac was literally shaking with joy at seeing his "Sissy" come off the plane. And it led to some wonderful conversations about the day that he *finally* came home to us ... off a plane ... into the waiting arms of so many who love him.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Making Giraffes & Chickens.

I am way overtired tonight to "say" anything, so I thought I would just do a little "show and tell" (without the tell) ... Enjoy.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My recent shout out for some help in gathering school supplies for Haitian children was heard and responded to by several generous souls. Thank You. The help that you give to any Haitian child can truly turn a life around --- or even save it.

A lovely Mommy named Susan (Mommy to 4 Haitian sweeties) sent a generous donation in order for me to purchase denim fabrics to sew up as many school bags as possible. Thank You.

Another Mommy, "WoodSpriteMama", is contributing half of all her July's handmade goods sales to the cause as well. Check out some of her goods here and here. They are wonderful! I have purchased several items from her over the past couple of years, and they are so well made and thoughtful. Thank You.

Others of you have made purchases from my Etsy store in order to contribute to Haitian Roots. I hope you enjoy them. Thank You.

Generosity is so amazing ... as the giver finds even more pleasure in giving, than the receiver does in receiving. This has been scientifically studied ... and in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful attributes of the human condition. I am thankful for the generosity that so many of you have shown, and hope that you are rewarded with a glad heart.



Monday, July 21, 2008

You Will Thank Me For This.

This is the best cd (see above) that I have ever bought. Seriously. Elizabeth Mitchell has an amazing way of creating music for children that is also well enjoyed by their parents. Her voice is fresh, soft, and soothing. And her songs are a perfect mix of energy and calm.

Use this link to sample some of this cd ... and then buy it! It is $10.99 that will be SO well spent. Enjoy ... and you can thank me later :)


Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Memere's 85th Birthday Party.

This weekend Halis and I travelled to our hometown to celebrate my Grandmother's 85th Birthday. All of her children were there ... along with most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren (those of you who were not there were VERY missed). It was a wonderful time, filled with laughter and love. And as I enjoyed my aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family, I recognized that I was so blessed to be a part of it. We are all so unique and beautiful. And we are all so loved by one another. What a great feeling.

Isaac felt it to. He THOROUGHLY enjoyed himself, as can be seen in this photo:

I pretty much think he held this expression for most of the day :)

May you all enjoy your families as well.



P.S. For family members who would like to see more photos, I have gathered them here.

P.S.S. Please forgive the crazy hair in my photo - I just came out of the pool. Please refrain judgement :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Completed "Great-Grandma" Quilt.

~ Great Grandmother ~

For the happiness you've brought
and lessons you have taught,
For the way you've cared
and the wisdom you've shared,
We are thankful and truly honored
to have a great grandmother like you.

With Love,
Mackenzie, Hunter, Emy, Nic
Ana, Lauren, Sophia
& Rylie
Made With Love,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Repurposed Books to Benefit Haitian Roots.

I just posted several upcycled Golden Book journals in my Etsy shop. From now, until further notice, 25% of all sales will go directly toward Haitian Roots. Please spread the word :)

Thank you,

Monday, July 14, 2008

HELP WANTED: Gathering School Supplies For Haiti.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, than you are likely aware that our son Isaac was born in Haiti. If you are not a regular reader, than please allow me to introduce my "Haitian Sensation", Mr. Isaac Watson the Beautiful ...

I apologize if his gorgeous-ness gave you a bit of a shock. It happens.

Anyway, our visits to Isaac's birth country have given us such a love and admiration for his country, the culture, the people, the history, etc. What appeals to us most is that Haiti's people are so rich in faith, courage, and hope ... even in the face of such adversity. Though we were so often struck by what they "lacked", they seemed to constantly rejoice in all they "had" ... seeing blessings in everything around them. What lessons Halis and I learned there! ... Abundance, humility, thankfulness, joy, hope, appreciation, faith, etc.

As you are likely aware, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world (economically) ... often one of the most volatile and definitely one of the least educated. This lack of education is largely due to the fact that there is no public education system in Haiti. In order to educate their children, parents must pay private school tuition. With yearly incomes averaging about $270 a year ... and tuition costs averaging $250 a year ... educating children is an impossibility for most families. This situation creates an endless cycle of poverty.

Sadly, many families are unable to feed their children, let alone educate them, and are often forced to either give their children up for adoption, give them away to 'wealthier' familes to work as house servants (resteveks / slaves), or abandon them to the streets.

There is much political work that needs to be done from within Haiti in order to break the cycles of poverty, hunger, ignorance, child abandonment, etc. ... BUT there are gestures both great and small that well-meaning people like you and I can make NOW in order to change the lives of as many children as we can.

There is some amazing work being done to assist the children of Haiti by two organizations that I wish to plug here: Haitian Roots & Hearts With Haiti. Please visit their websites to see the hands-on work they are doing NOW in order to change lives. I have personally seen the results of their work first hand ... and can assure you that any assistance you give them will be used directly toward educating, feeding and clothing the children of Haiti. Halis and I have seen what an education can do to change a life ... and let me tell you ... it is one of the most beautiful gifts you could ever hope to give. By visiting Haitian Roots, you can directly sponsor a child to attend school ... (where they will also recieve a daily hot meal) ... and you will be well informed as to their progress.

As for our current contribution to the cause (and regarding the title of this post) ... our family is gathering school supplies for Halis to distibute during his upcoming trip to Haiti. He plans to distribute as many handmade (by me) schoolbags filled with supplies to as many Haitian children as possible. And this is where we ask for your help :) ....

I recently bought all of the above school supplies at Wal-Mart for less than $25! They are having an amazing back-to-school sale that includes some of the following prices:

Crayola Crayon boxes: 21 cents each
Glue Bottles: 17 cents each
Colored Pencil Boxes: 60 cents each
1 Subject Notebooks: 5 cents each!

Though we would love it if all the folks we knew could sponsor a Haitian child's education for $250 a year ... we recognize that is not a possibility for everyone (especially given our own country's current economic crunch) ... but if folks could contribute some inexpensive school supplies or a Wal-Mart gift card to the cause, it would surely help as well.

For anyone wishing to contribute to this project, we can use the following:

New/ Unused School Supplies (seen in above photo)
1 Subject Notebooks
Wooden Rulers
Pencil Sharpeners
Gift Certificates to Wal-Mart (to purchase school supplies)
Denim Fabric (for school bags)
Gift Certificates to Jo-Anns (to purchase denim for school bags)
(Paypal contributions are also welcome. Please send to

Please e-mail me at if you need our shipping address.

Thank you for reading this rather long post, and for considering what you may be able to contribute to our project. We will keep you posted on the progress of this endeavor.

With hope for a brighter future for Haiti ...
Jodi, Halis and Isaac

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Enjoying Moosepoint State Park ... again and again.

Our favorite spot in Maine. On a gorgeous day. Loving every minute.

We'll be back ... as always.

Hoping that you all are enjoying your favorite spots,


P.S. Several more photos of this outing can be seen here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some VW Love.

You gotta love a VW bus. Don't they just make you smile? I caught this one in Belfast a couple weeks ago. I can't help but to photograph them when I see them. Runs in my family.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Quilt for Great Grandma.

In the works :)

This photo shows me matching up fabric photos with corresponding reproduction 1930-40's fabrics. This quilt will be for my Memere to celebrate her 80-something birthday next week. I know she is going to love it. All of her precious great-grandchildren will be featured on it - along with a photo of her - and a dedication of thanks for all that she is to us.

I find it remarkable that so many years ago, my Memere fell in love with an amazing man (my Pepere) and from their love they created a beautiful, nurturing family together. Then their children fell in love and created their own loving families ... and so on again. From one loving couple, so many other lives have sprung ... so many more families have been created and so much more love has been shared. It is wonderful to reflect upon ... especially while I am creating this gift.

And even more wonderful is the fact that 3 out of 10 of my Memere's great grandchildren were adopted into our family. One boy from Haiti (my Isaac), one boy from Russia, and one girl from Kazahkstan. Who would have thought? Amazing.

Hopefully this quilt will be ready by her birthday (fingers crossed) ... and I will be sure to post a photo when it is complete.

Enjoy the day,

Monday, July 7, 2008

Conversation Video #2.

We tell Isaac a fanciful tale of when Mommy was a mermaid and Daddy was a pirate ... and how we met once out at sea ... and that Mommy decided to become a human so that she could live a mortal life with Daddy ... and raise a family together ... etc. And that during that time Isaac was an angel waiting to become our baby. And that we are currently living out our happily ever after.

He loves it. And so do we.
Reality is what you make it :)


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back in the Saddle.

I have begun sewing again ... finally. It has been over 2 months ... and I was starting to twitch. But after some brief sorting of some sewing supplies, I sat down to make a new bag. This sweet bag is made from vintage fabric squares that I inherited from my Mother-in-Law, some rick-rack from a yard sale, some vintage buttons from an estate sale, new denim, and some retro fabric that I picked up at Mardens. I love it! And though I originally made it with intentions of placing it in my Etsy store, I am not so sure now. It looks so "me". But who knows....?

Let's hope my sewing streak continues ... and if it does ... that I make some fun goodies for Etsy. I am long over due.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Independance Day.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner

Enjoy the day,

P.S. When I think of the word "freedom", I always picture a seagull ... flying free ... from sea to shining sea. Others picture an eagle. I prefer my seagulls :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Roses Don't Miss Me.

I planted the above rose bush over 6 years ago - at the old homestead - and it never did anything worth photographing ... that is, until I moved away. Now that we are all moved out of the house, this rose bush decided to bloom in all its glory. And I am left wondering what was so wrong with me - that it did not want to show its beauty in my presence. I mean, I thought I took good care of it and all. Halis claims that it just didn't like the frequent "watering" that the dogs gave it. However, I've never seen the dogs anywhere near that bush. But I want to believe him. My ego needs to believe him. Either way, as we ready the house for sale, I will be able to photograph its gorgeous blooms. Whether the roses like it or not.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 1: Jodi Day Camp: STRAWBERRIES

I am happy to say that the first day of "Jodi Day Camp" was a success. We collectively made some excellent "Banana-Strawberry-Blueberry-Chocolate Chip Cake":

We used a Banana Nut Bread recipe (doubled) ... excluded the nuts ... and simply added chopped up fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, and chocolate chips. Then we mixed some brown sugar with some melted butter and sprinkled that over the top. YUM! It was heavenly.

With our leftover strawberries, we made some very satisfying strawberry lemonade and scrumptious strawberry milkshakes (though I forgot to take photos - they were too delicious to wait for). Then, as planned, we made some all-natural strawberry paint in order to create some rich and delicious artwork (just mash up some strawberries, grab some paper and paintbrushes and start creating).

Throw in some dress-up play and a few board games ... and it all made for a very good day.
Thanks kids :)