"Mama, LOOK! I don't need my ears pierced. I made pierced ears, homemade."

Now, I must admit, I panicked when I heard that.  I mean this girl cut MY hair a week ago. A big old chunk out of it.

Upon closer inspection, it's masking tape. Phew.

And yes, these are really marvelous homemade earrings.
 Much better than the homemade gum she made (which was a big wad of paper she was chewing).

This girl adds SO MUCH SPUNK to our days!

Kids in the Kitchen

There are all different forms of bravery.  Like the Vikings conquering new lands. Like first day on the new job jitters. Like launching a business. Like making perogies with your children. 

I was all sorts of brave and they turned out delicious.

 Home made crust, stuffed with home grown mashed potatoes and add in those home grown peppers. Thankful for little sous chefs.


Bunch of freeloaders.

I got four eggs today and cheered.  It's been one to two eggs for days, weeks, maybe months.


And how many chickens do I have? 

10, 20, 30, 40, 50? Probably not 50.  Probably more than 40.

I don't do chicken math.

I do count eggs...and girls.  Pick it up, please and thank you.


You know, we all have different talents. 

Some of us are born a natural makeup artist. 

And some of us aren't.  (Sara, we need Lily's help!)

Our Chicken Soup with Rice Book

Well, we did it.  For one year, we made soup once a month and learned the poem of the month from the Chicken Soup with Rice book. 

Now we have Chicken Soup with Rice in Maine

 And here are my big two, standing proud with their book.

We started last November. You can see how the weather changes, as well as how these two kids have changed! 






Nightstand books

Late night tuck-ins inspired this "What is on the nightstand" post.  This is what I found when I tucked them all in last night.  I just love how my kids are SO different in the books they pick, but pick so consistently on the things they enjoy. 

Eloise Wilkin's "New Baby" vintage Golden Book
Richard Scarry's Mother Goose
Usborne's Big Book of Fairy Tales
The Mouse Who Thought He was a Kitten vintage Golden Book
Her Bible

Visit to the Farm chapter book
Tractor Mac books
ABCs of Farm Life
Backyard Birdsongs for Birders
James Herriot Treasury
His Bible

My Husband:
Gary Paulsen's Woods Runner (a gift from Audra for Christmas)
His Bible

Old Yeller
Still More Stories from Grandma's Attic
Thornton Burgess's Whitefoot the Woodmouse
Mapmaking with Children
Country Living Magazine
BetterHomesand Gardens Magazine
Gospel Light
My Bible

And you?  What is on YOUR nightstand?


You know, it was me who begged for one more.  It was him who said "2 kids are enough."

But now he says,"How did we ever live without her?"

He's so smitten.

We all are.

Another year

Well, another birthday has come and is now gone.  Each year flies faster than the last.

My husband made me a cake with chocolate and peanutbutter together (a combo he doesn't even eat). I totally skipped dinner in favor of cake.  I worked, ran an errand by myself, took a walk, went to 4-H, had mail and phone calls from loved ones, hand drawn pictures from my littles, read extra chapters in my kids' chapter books and ate cake.  A good day, indeed.  These days I may be exhausted from keeping up with life's demands, I may have stains on my shirt, my house is not as clean as I'd like it to be and my body is definitely the aftermath of pregnancy still.   BUT...I have these three kiddos and I am totally their world. 37 years old, my heart is happy and I'm feeling mighty blessed. Another year, another cake, I feel so fortunate.


Adrian the 'tool man' (great present grammy and grampy, thank you!)+ nails in all of our scrap wood + impending trouble.


It took me forever. And ever. And ever.

I finally finished the stitching. It's been a long time since I've finished some handwork. Could use a little pressing, clearly.

What should I do with it now? Suggestions?

We have snow.

We have snow, lots of snow. And we have snow drifts. Lots of snow drifts.  Sub zero temps and I still kick my kids out to play? Absolutely.  We go out side daily. All you need is the right gear.

 My bundled princess
 And my fire breathing dragon certainly have been enjoying their daily dose of fresh air lately!

Wood Cooking

My 7 year old said today: "When I learn about 18th century cooking, it's all sorts of stuff my mom already does."

Now, that just made me smile.

And it's partly true.  Most everything has been cooked on the woodstove as of late. And I've said goodbye to the toaster and have been toasting our homemade toast in the woodstove oven. 

My dad always says "Everything tastes better cooked on the woodstove".

It's true.

Snow...more of it!

I think the only thing that I truly dislike about this old Maine farmhouse is the wind.  There are 30 acres of fields behind our house and the wind just whips across it. Sometimes it's hard for Audra to even stand up out there. We just got another foot or so of snow. Not sure how much exactly, but at this point, who is counting? It's a lot. It keeps drifting now with the wind.  There was a drift up to my waist this morning between our house and the barn.  I shoveled it. A few hours later, it's not only filled in , but also higher.  The wind keeps blowing.  But...it doesn't stop these kids from going out in it.  And it doesn't stop us from having homemade meals on the woodstove, reading oodles of books and doing crafts.  While it would be nice for the winds to die down and the temps to rise above 0 degrees F, the rest of winter we are definitely not tiring of. 

Five and a HALF!

Miss Audra,

You are 5 and a HALF, which you are focusing on that being closer to 6, which is closer to being a teen. Don't wish your years away, sweet girl.

What are you like at 5 1/2?  Active. Lots of spirit. So much spunk. Lots of whit. Full of life and energy.  You  keep us on our toes, that's for sure. 

You absolutely love animals and they love you back. You are caring and gentle with them now, although they do get dressed up quite frequently.  You play with your live animals more than you play with your actual toys. Right now you are saving your money for kittens, a pony, ducklings and chickies.

Your art is precious.  You draw your people with LOTS and LOTS of BIG CURLY hair and tiny details with lots of color.  Your pictures are worth keeping.  There's an especially cute one that was done with a red sharpie on your wall. You have no idea how that got there.  Our kitchen door also says "AUDRA" in big letters. You have no idea how that got there either. 

Your favorite food is eggs. Especially scrambled.  Good thing, as we have plenty of them. Cooked onions are disgusting, but you'll eat raw onions and green onions/scallions all the live long day. You'd never refuse a Snickers. You love to cook and bake, and in fact you are quite natural at it.  

No matter how active you are during the day (which is VERY active or VERY VERY active or VERY VERY VERY active), you'll just about always stop for a book.  Picture book, short story, chapter books, audio books. You especially love fairy tales. Not the Disney version. The real deal, the original versions. You can also tell some tall tales yourself. 

You are so social, meeting friends wherever you go.  You share your things with ease and would offer your last bite of dessert to anyone, just out of the goodness of your heart.   

You give the very best hugs, kisses and snuggles, keep us awake and keep us full of laughs. We're making a plight to keep your room clean...okay, well, just I am trying to encourage you to work on that, you aren't the least bit concerned.  Someday, hopefully!

Our life would be dull without you, Audra.  Thank you for keeping things exciting. I love you oodles and oodles.

Love, Mama

Questions of the year!

Nicknames: Grace

How old are you? 5 and a half, which mean almost 6.

What is your favorite color? All colors

What is your favorite animal? All of them except crocodiles and rattlesnakes.Mostly horses.

What is your favorite book? Secret Garden

What is your favorite song? Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and God is on the Move

What is your favorite snack? Cheese and crackers or crackers and peanut butter

What is your favorite outfit?  All the dresses Grammy Vicki gives me

What is your favorite game?  Battleship

What is your favorite toy?  My horses

Who is your best friend? Paige, Leah, Lucy, All the Ellas and their sisters

What is your favorite thing to do? Ride horses

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play on the swingset, ride my bike, play in the snow.

What is your favorite holiday?  All the holidays that have candy.

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  My homemade dolls Marie and Grace and books.

Where is your favorite place to go? To the stores. I love to shop.

What is your favorite restaurant?  Subway and someplace with french fries.

Where do you want to go on vacation? NY and Florida.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to take care of animals and ride horses. Probably a veterinarian and a horse rider. Maybe a jockey. Maybe not in races though.

What are you going to do on your birthday? Eating coffee cake!

Hunkerin' Down

Hunkerin' down inside, for tomorrow we will be buried in snow.  A good old fashioned blizzard is coming our way.  All is cancelled and we'll be home together. My fave place to be. Baby snuggles all the day!


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