Books. Because I'm obsessed.  Three brand new metal garden tools, still in the plastic. A used Loop Hoe, which I have been wanting.  $4.75.
A carhart horse shirt for my horse girl. A 100% wool sweater (which we use for sleeping sweaters). More books, because I cannot leave a store without a book.  Smartwools for me. Little House on the Prairie VHS...if I can figure out how to get the darned thing working. Vintage scissors, which I am apparently collecting because I am a fan. $4.50.

And my trio with the bigs wearing their finds and because I love them so.

More Outside

Week goals: Get 'em outside! Each day. 

Or if they are already outside daily, increase their daily time outside.

Our goal is 3 hours a day for our big two and once a day for our baby.

Let this week be the week of Fresh Air!


My kids have always been outside kids.  Everyday, regardless of weather, we are outside. I have fond memories of them waking up and meeting me outside when I was hand milking or coming inside in time for bed after a summer sunset, dirty from head to toe. I'm so fortunate that I have panoramic windows in the kitchen so I can see them playing. In those warmer weather months, a seamless outside/inside transition is occurring almost hourly. However, in winter, although we go outside, the time we are outside is usually less. Maybe it's the cold temps or the ice. Maybe it's because it takes an hour just to get all the winter gear on, (okay, maybe not an hour, but a long time) and by the time they are out there they are hungry/thirsty/have to go to the bathroom.  Maybe we just enjoy the fire inside.

Long and short of it, regardless of weather, kids NEED to be outside.  Since we have the right gear for them, it is possible for them to be comfortable in just about all elements.  We have found that one short winter outdoor play time is not enough.  We've been helping get that snowgear on again and again in a day, sending our kids out twice, even three times a day. We're aiming for a minimum total of 3 hours a day outside.

It tell you, it helps. It helps with focus, learning, cooperation, appetite and sleep. They play better together, are more creative, they are kinder to one another and listen more attentively. They are more regulated, calmer and happier.

My husband and I are working on joining in their outside time as much as possible. We had a family walk today tracking turkeys. I cleared the ice out of our driveway with Adrian and Anna-Kate on my back. Justin brought the big kids sledding.  Tomorrow we are planning on ice skating. Regardless of age, we ALL could use some more outside time.

Three hours total outside a day regardless of weather for the kids, that's our goal. Adults joining some of that time daily, that's our goal too.  Anyone else want to join us in a commitment to get outside more, regardless of the weather?  Fresh air is a good thing for the soul.

Home sweet home.


Loving these January days.

NINE months!

Well, Miss Anna-Kate, NINE months!

6 months
(Here's 3 monthsnewborn.)

Giggles, smiles, snuggles. You love anyone and everyone. And will let anyone hold you.

You love food. You have figured out how to sign 'more'. Which means you want 'more' food all the time.  You'd much prefer solid food opposed to milk.  You like everything. My favorite is how you do ankle circles in the high chair on repeat when you are happy.

You move. Fast. All over. And everything goes into your mouth. 

You're calm, happy, content and fun. You talk all.the.time.  "Mamamama, dadadada, bababababa". You have no idea what you are saying, but you happily chatter on and on and on and on.

In the last few months, you've been on four flights. You are the world's most perfect travel partner.

You're the 'one more' I begged for and the one no one knows how we ever lived without. Thankful for you, Miss Anna-Kate.


It's been some time since I've been to the thrift store. I know!  I need to get back in the groove. I love treasure hunting. 
 Two big blue transferware bowls.  Five Classic books. $12.
Books with great illustrations, vintage books, kid's music, thank you notes, vintage pyrex type dish with a top and a flip top crock. Get this.  $5.00.

And shall we enjoy my husband's comments questioning whether I needed more books and more blue transferware? Yes, those comments will indeed be ignored.  Shop on!

Home Sweet Homeschool

“The question is not, -- how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education -- but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?” 
― Charlotte M. Mason, 1904

Home Sweet Homeschool. 
Pre-K, Grade 1. 
Don't know if they'll be home forever, but for now, thankful to give them roots and wings.


 "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!


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