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‘Round Here & Yoko

So much to report.
So little time.
I’ll hit the highs {you’ll have to trust me the lows are here too… they don’t make for as great photo ops though}.

Summer’s in full swing ’round here.

John Martin got his bangs trimmed so I could see his eyes. When I was done I vacuumed his head. He loved it. It brought back beautiful childhood memories of the Flowbee infomercials; please tell me you remember.


Much better.


Here’s a peek at some of the summer sewing I’ve been working on:


And their nightgowns are ready to assemble… when I look at all those tucks I can’t help but think of “tucking” them in bed in their “tucked” gowns, and how hopefully they’ll be all “tuckered” out. I hesitated spending such time and detail on nightgowns but honestly they’ll wear them more as nightgowns than they ever would as dresses! I quickly convinced myself they’re worth the time and energy. {I’ll be sure to share fabric and pattern details when they’re done.}


Summer also calls for “Summer Reading” programs. We set ourselves a lofty vow of 40 books… we’re making progress.


Or maybe I should rephrase that by saying, “I’m making progress!” The girls aren’t reading yet so I’m the reader, they’re the listeners! We’ve had such fun making trips to the library and getting our books.


Considering I’m not a teacher, nor a librarian, and since it’s been a few years since I’ve checked out books from the children’s section, the librarian has been helpful both times to make suggestions on both “story books” and “beginner reader” books!

Our pick of the litter this time was Yoko, by Rosemary Wells {who is most well-known for her characters Max & Ruby}.


It’s a charming little tale of a kitty named Yoko who gets teased for bringing sushi to school. We also picked up a few McDuff books by Wells and they come to life on the pages too. The girls loved Yoko and I made a proposition to take them out to lunch if they’d try sushi… they were all for it.

So today, we hit up a local Asian cafe for lunch. Annie kept John Martin and the girls had a date with Mommy. Of course, Yoko came a long too.


I ordered two boxes and we went to town.


The girls have never used chopsticks.


Morgan got it down in seconds.


And Paige did too, in her own special way.


They were especially intriqued with the soy sauces and dipping bowls.


They both held up to their end of the bargain and tried the sushi {California rolls}.


And weren’t too impressed.


Or maybe it was the soy sauce they drenched it in that they didn’t like!?

They did love the chicken and the tempura vegetables.

Nonetheless, we had a blast and made precious memories.

Now, I’m back to the kitchen where I’m working on some little pretties for my niece’s 6th birthday gathering tonight…. I’ve baked about 75 of these miniture guys!


Be back soon with another Garden Recipe!!

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  • erika
    June 25, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    absolutely priceless!
    i love it! wish i could have been there… makes me very excited about new adventures with my own daughter.
    love the cupcakes! are they strawberry? look delicious. love little cupcakes!

  • erika
    June 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    PS- will you do a short post on your little Dyson vac? I always forget to ask if you like it. DustBusters are not my friend, I'm looking for another idea. XO

  • Mary Michael
    June 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    The FLOWBEE!! I kid you not my dad bought one as soon as it came out and still uses it now. My little one get his hair cut with it and I have to say, it works! (I can't belive I admitted that!) LOL So funny you mentioned that! Love your blog!

  • Julie P.
    June 25, 2009 at 2:15 pm


    This post is just so precious. Love the book reading and the summer outings and activities. Makes me miss being a kid in the summertime. If you have any spots left open, I'd love to enroll in Camp Darby (or Camp Mom as you probably refer to it). You are so lucky to have little girls that are such adventurous eaters. Thank you for sharing!


  • Love Being a Nonny
    June 25, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    What a sweet *mommy loves her children* post. Love that you take them to the library. Some of my fondest memories are the ones I have of summer reading goals being met at the library.

    And, I know you know this, but your children…cute.much.

  • kate
    June 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    love the nightgowns, they're gorgeous. The mini cupcakes look delicious too. Mmmm!

  • kate
    June 25, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    p.s. I know this is weird but I love the smell of books, especially library book! Ha

  • MyLittleHappyPlace
    June 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Fantastic! I think they did a wonderful job with the chopsticks! Also, happy to know about Yoko!

    My Avery is ga-ga for sprinkles, and those are especially fun!

  • erin from austin
    June 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    a very helpful book, in finding age appropriate books for children, is Honey for a Child's Heart. it's wonderful. you could use it to find books at the library for the kiddos. it also has a section for religious books. have fun reading!

  • Megan Shirley
    June 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I actually had a friend go in to get his hair cut (within the past several years) and the barber actually pulled out a Flobee!!!

    If you are looking for great reading suggestions check out the Sonlight curriculum. (You could just look at their lists and check them out at the library) It is very literature/reading intensive and they have tons of "read aloud" books with each grade level starting with preschool. I'm using it in Kenya and I'm so excited to get started. I think I'll use the read alouds in conjunction with school even if I'm not homeschooling after Kenya.

  • andi
    June 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Sooo cute!! Love the box lunch too!!! 🙂

  • C and M
    June 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Mmm. I probably shouldn't have read your post so close to dinner time. Everything looks great!

  • Ferreira; Party of Four
    June 25, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Reading "Yoko" inspired my girls to try CA rolls, too! They were unimpressed, also, but at least they tried something new. We adore every Rosemary Wells book we can get our hands on! Hurray for summer reading!

  • Amanda
    June 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    so cool they tried sushi…wanna meet at kane county while you are at your peeps farm????????

  • Cstargel
    June 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I just love your blog (and your sisters!!!) I stumbled across it because one of my friends added it to her list of blogs she reads – your family is precious and I LOVE everything you did with your house! You have a great eye for that sort of thing and I saw that you came by it honestly! Keep up the good blog!

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    June 25, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Sounds like a fun mommy/daughters date. 🙂 My girls have the same polka dot dresses and wear them to match too. 🙂 Love the vacuuming shot! My girls love to be read to also…that makes me happy!

  • Amber
    June 25, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You just had my seven year olds favorite kind of day, library trip, sushi for lunch and cupcakes. We love McDuff and Yoko too.

  • Becky
    June 25, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    how bout this…one of my best friends still has a flowbee and uses it on her husband. insane. at which little asian cafe are you?

  • Dona
    June 25, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I hope you took some pictures of the dinner you made- yummy! Thank you- LF said it was the best birthday she's ever had!

  • meredith
    June 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I love it!!! What great memories for the girls. If you need suggestions on children's books I can help you out. I have a deep fondness for them and hope to write on one day!


  • Kelly and Kelly
    June 25, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    you guys are having fun! and I think we have a flowbee (we got it to cut the dog)!

  • Meg
    June 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Those babies eating sushi is the most darling thing I've ever seen!! PLEASE keep these photos coming, they are just precious! I mean, how cute are they?! So sophisticated! I love it! You're such a fun mom Darby!

  • lindsay
    June 25, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Love the picture of the girls in their matching dresses, with matching haircuts having a lunch date with mommy! I can't wait to see more on the dresses and nightgowns!

  • Victoria
    June 25, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Love the haircut!

    We love Yoko too. What a great Mommy/Daughter date. 🙂

  • nameisgrace
    June 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    love this post!!!! so cute that your girls wanted to try sushi. it's my FAVE!

  • Christina
    June 26, 2009 at 3:47 am

    I'm gonna have to try that with my daughter! I LOVE sushi and would love to have a tag-along. My son … oh … he would have been screaming bloody murder if I had a vacuum that close to his head. As it is, we have to hold him down to cut his hair. Sigh …

    And yes, I remember Flowbee … I wonder if they still make them … that MIGHT work with my kiddos. Hmm …

    Beautiful nightgowns! Your kids are sooo lucky to have you as their mom!!

  • Mandi
    June 26, 2009 at 5:08 am

    I remember the Flowbe. Who could forget such a genius invention? Ha! I LOVE that you took the girls to try sushi, but I love even more that they were willing to try it. My boys are very stubborn about what they will put in their mouths. Oh, and by the way, the sewing is great!

  • natalie
    June 26, 2009 at 5:17 am

    i found your blog and i LOVE it! just wanted to know you've found a new reader in me.
    my mary margaret has that same polka dot dress–it's her "pool dress". 🙂

  • Elizabeth
    June 26, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Your girls are brave with sushi – I didn't try it until I was 20!

  • Jenny Lynn
    June 26, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Oh my word!

    You will not believe this, my dad STILL uses a flowbee. That's how he cuts his hair. No joke!

    He even cut my mom's once. And anytime I'm around and mention that I need a haircut, he always SERIOUSLY offers to cut my hair with the flowbee!

  • aedozier
    June 26, 2009 at 7:29 am

    What a great idea to take them for sushi! Thanks for the recommendations on the books. Our first trip to the library was somewhat of a disaster, but I am ready to try again. Mary McKinnon loves Max & Ruby, so Yoko will be on our list for sure. Also, I wanted to tell how how scrumptious the chicken delight was!!! I am looking forward to leftovers at lunch. Happy weekend to you!

  • Carrie
    June 26, 2009 at 7:38 am

    How wonderful that after reading the book about sushi you were able to go out and try it with your girls! It's always nice to hear about kids reading and trying new things. What a wonderful memory! I will never forget the time my Mom took me on a picnic (just the two of us) and she told me I could spit the watermellon seeds. We ended up having a contest to see who could spit them the furthest 🙂

  • jennifer
    June 26, 2009 at 8:10 am

    very cute. i love how the cupcakes match the girls dresses.

    can you post some haircutting tips? i gave my crew bangcuts yesterday. oh, it was bad. i kept cutting to even it out and it just got worse

  • christy
    June 26, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Love the pics. The sushi face is priceless!

    As soon as I saw the Dyson to JM's hair I sad FLOWBEE! Too funny. 🙂

  • The Harris Family
    June 26, 2009 at 11:51 am

    OH that face when she didnt' like the California Rolls was perfect! Hahaha Cant' wait for that next recipe!

  • Dave and Mandi
    June 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    From a teacher to a mother: Thank you! These are experiences your children need, and will never forget. A lot of parents out there just don't know-maybe I should refer them to your blog:)

    I also have a book suggestion: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems- very cute and interactive!

  • Amy
    June 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Darby, I think it would be funny to get the Strawman to read Skippyjon Jones. It may be a little long for Raiger but I bet she and Morgan would enjoy listening to their daddy use his best Spanish accent. At school, it is one of my second graders' favorite read alouds. It is about a siamese kitten who dreams of being a chihuahua.

  • Amanda
    June 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I think your girls are better at using chopsticks than I am…and I'm 29! I'm impressed that they tried the sushi…too cute.

  • Hillary @ The Other Mama
    June 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Paige and I eat Japanese food the same way. 🙂
    And I LOVED the flowbee commercials! Great flashback. JM's bangs look adorable!

  • michelle sproul
    June 29, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Hello Darby – can you email me the pattern number for the cute floral dress with the shoulder ties? I want to sew for my girls! Over the weekend I made them flag dresses for the 4th using the butterick pattern (5019 I think). It was so easy and I loved the finished product. The border on the bottom really makes the dress. m94fsu@hotmail.com Thanks! Take care, michelle

  • Fittsy
    July 1, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I wanted recommend Honey for a Child's Heart, but I see someone has already said it.

    I truly appreciate your blog. I'm pregnant with my 3rd in three years (the oldest will be 3.5 when this one arrives), and I think your children are similarly spaced. I'm encouraged by your love and excitement for them. Thanks for writing and for loving your children and husband like you do!

    Crestwood, Birmingham, Alabama