Pom poms.

 This little girl has been producing all these pom poms. Have you ever used a fork to make them? Look it up, super easy. You, too, can have a hundred random pom poms a day.

What does the goat say?

I wonder, what does the goat say? If the goat could talk, I think she'd say "YOU NEED A HORSE." I concur.  Kids do too.

At play...

I noticed on Adrian's bed, he had lined up a row of his special stuffed animals. Starting with a pillow he made, there are 6 additional homemade stuffed animals I made as well as one homemade by a friend. There, of course, is a cow represented, a bit of John Deere and 4-H. His favorite things.
 And Audra is big enough for the occasional American Girl Doll play.  She's not big enough that I fully trust keeping the dolls out, but an occasional play, yes.  My mother in law bought Caroline for her for her first Christmas. Samantha was mine when I was a child.  My mother in law brought Felicity for Anna-Kate, so someday she'll join the play. Truly, fantastic gifts. We've read the Caroline, Samantha and Felicity series (among many others) and we are a fan of their historical fiction.
And what's Anna-Kate playing with? Mostly choking hazards.  Despite constant efforts to childproof, she finds something to pop in her mouth all too often.


 Vintage science and poetry books.  Currier and Ives trivet. Backgammon.  $3.50.
Books, headphones, lego remover, sunglasses for Adrian, miniature pitcher, vintage miniature ladle (it's so cute!). $5.00.

Birthday Treat!

We weren't planning on celebrating Anna-Kate's birthday until we could all be together (I don't see my husband most weekdays because we work opposite schedules).  Big brother and big sister said "You mean we're not doing ANYTHING today?!"

Insert mama guilt.

"Okay, let's stop by Dunkin Donuts on the way home."

We gave Anna-Kate a choice. This is what she picked. She pointed and said "MMMM!"

She's never had a donut before.  Here's how it went.

 Unsure to quite sure!  Giggles and "Mmm" and "That's good" she said.

See the tray below? That's what was left of it.  She ate it ALL.  Next up is cake. I guarantee she'll be a fan!


April Homegrowns.  Just the beginning of a beautiful season of deliciousness.

Anna-Kate is ONE!

Happy, Happy Birthday to my sweet Anna-Kate! You made me wait 17 days past my due date for you, but I tell you, the wait and exhausting delivery has been completely worth it!

You have been a dream baby. So happy. Easy to soothe. A good sleeper. A hearty appetite. Very healthy.  Loves to be worn. Go with the flow. Such a perfect addition to our family.

You are a talker.  As in nonstop. You imitate everything and have so much you say on your own. You call me "Mama. Mum. Mum." Then there is "dada", "Brother" and "Awwa"(Audra). Then you say "Hi" to people, wave goodbye. You narrate what you are doing. Like picking up your shirt and tickling your belly, you say "Tickle tickle tickle".  You pet the dogs with a "Pat pat pat". You talk to the chickens with a "Peep peep peep".

And music. You dance and say "dance, dance, dance".  You request 5 different songs by either saying the part of the song you want to sing or giving us the motion. We say "Praise the Lord" and you throw your hands up.

FOOD.  You LOVE food.  Except when you are done and you throw it off your plate, all while saying "No no no".  You love all kinds of fruit, broccoli, cucumbers, cheerios and ice cream (which makes you giggle).  If it's good, you'll say "MMMM", sign "more" or say "That's good."

Speaking of giggling, brushing your teeth puts you into a fit of giggles. Every time. But pinching...we could use less of that, please and thank you.

You are so gentle with books. You'll pet them and flip the pages of chapter books like you can read a novel. You really like the "That's not my" books.

You have no interest in walking (fine with me!). You are super fast crawling and pulling yourself up.

Your fine motor skills are way too good. You find every choking hazard around this place.

You love all of us in your family equally.  You have your dad wrapped around your little finger. We are so happy to have you.

Love, Mama

9 months
6 months
(Here's 3 monthsnewborn.)

More Animals.

We totally needed more chickens like I needed five more pounds.  BUT, miniature bantams?  They are half the size of typical baby chicks. Pretty much as big as my husband's thumb. And sooooo adorable.  Four tiny bantams. 


There (hopefully) won't be many more mornings that need a fire to warm the kitchen this spring...but until then, I'm still enjoying morning meetings close to the fire.

New classes

Last school vacation, the bigs took a couple of fun classes. Adrian took Robotics and Audra took needle felting. She came home from class with a project she made specifically for each one of us.
 I thought mine was wall art, but nope. It's wearable.  She says I can wear it wherever I go. How did I get so lucky?

Bucket heads

I've worked a ton this week and have hardly seen my kids (although the bigs have been at horse camp, so they haven't really missed me). I am so thankful that tomorrow is a day at home with my bucket heads.  I thrifted these buckets for a quarter a piece, brand new. Little did I know they would double as hats.

Got wood?

Thanks to Anna-Kate, we had a big ol' tax refund.

My husband said we should each get half to spend. 

He bought plane tickets for our family.

I bought Firewood.

Clearly you can see who is the free spirit and who is the nerd.

At least we both spent it on our family, albeit different ways.

I told him the more babies we had, the bigger tax refunds we'd get.  He wasn't so interested in hearing about it.

And now I introduce you....to ALL of our spare time:  Wood piles.
 think we'll get it stacked before Winter?  Hopeful!

April Sleet

We had a mid April Sunday with snow, sleet and ice.

No big deal, Audra can still find green onions in the garden.  She's been keeping us in regular supply.

The spring planting and summer harvest is around the corner. It has to be.  We're ready!

This girl...

I got this dress for a buck. But, let's be honest, who notices the dress when the baby is this adorable?!

Homemade. Homegrown.

The chicks I incubated, the dress I made, the apron I made, the quilt I made, behind that is the couch I re-upholstered. Oh, and that beautiful girl...she's homemade too.   And she's been raised on homemade and homegrown food. Living the homemade, homegrown life and loving it.


Yesterday was cruddy. Today...on a scale between 1-10, was an 11.  Morning chores, morning readings, a fantastic play watching folks we love shine, a quick thrift store trip, picnic lunch, an afternoon family walk in the backyard, afternoon books, play on the porch, dinner, evening books and three kids asleep as quick as a wink. 

Decades ago, long before our parenthood journey commenced, I dreamed what my days as a mama would be like.  Today was exactly how I dreamed life would be. So thankful.  Love these three little critters. His blessings are new every morning!

Some days are better than others...

I didn't read to my kids today.

At all.

And I'm someone who reads to them consistently twice a day on work days and three times a day on days I'm home.

It's the favorite part of my day. The favorite part of their day.

I read nothing to them today. Nothing.

This morning I had gotten up early and had plans to have a nice breakfast ready for our morning readings. I had a quiche and banana muffins all set to go in the oven.  My kids have had a rough week cooperation-wise and thought I'd try to work on having today being better with a fantastic morning start.

The oven would not click on. The 'new to us' oven that has just been installed a few months.

I put the quiche in the wood cookstove and tried to troubleshoot the oven since there's not enough room in the wood cookstove for all.  I pulled up the manual and read much of it, to no avail.  45 minutes later, I had a batch of unbaked muffins and three hungry kids vying for my attention.

I called my neighbor and brought the batter to her to bake. I went to Plan B for breakfast and we ran out of time for reading.

I set out to have a fantastic morning and left for work feeling more scattered, frustrated and defeated than before.

Must be my kids felt the same, as cooperation today was less than stellar.

I did what I have not done before. I took books away. No evening readings. No independent reading. Bedtime with no books.

Both kids went to bed sobbing.

And truth be told, I feel like doing the same.

This parent gig is hard.  Sometimes the two parents working opposite shifts gig feels impossible. Sometimes it feels like giving it my best shot is hardly good enough.

I need to remember that God's promises are new every morning. The crocuses are blooming, a new season is here. Tomorrow is a new day.  Determined to not be wallowing in my negative thoughts. Perseverance. The word of the day. There will be more books tomorrow.  Keep on keeping on, tomorrow will be better. Onward.


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