Books,go figure. A soil testing kit. Nikes (because my kids' feet keep growing). And a cowboy hat (which is a $100 hat, we looked up the value online. It makes Adrian look tough, see below). $7.
And more shoes! Did I mention their feet keep growing?  Sperrys, two New Balance.  Plus three blank journals. $3.75.
And to answer the question that often comes up...almost every thrifting post is from a different thrift store from the last. I go all over! No thrift stores?  Amazing what you can find on facebook marketplace or ebay.  Our Christmas is nearly 100% thrifted (I collect year round).  The hunt is just as fun as the purchase! 

Mama made: Dress, Apron and "BOOMERS"

Anna-Kate has been wishing for some 'Boomers', (aka Bloomers) like her sister has.  The snowday this week, I FINALLY finished this project I started a bit ago.  A long dress for old fashioned play, an apron and of course BOOMERS. She also gets excited for pockets.

 She loves it, hardly wants to take it off.
 Of course big sister is thrilled to have someone play old fashioned with her.
 Audra set up this store and cut out all these pence and half pence coins out of paper.  She organized beans, pasta and buttons, all the play food is set up (not pictured) and her vintage linens are organized.  You can shop at the general store anytime. Only nothing you buy is for keeps. 

I just love when they get into play like this!   I hope to carve out some more time to create more things to feed into their interest in playing old fashioned.  I truly love this phase!


We have lots of snow now!  For the last two days all it has been doing is snowing.

 Adrian mostly has been shoveling. He spent 5 hours outside yesterday and who knows how many today. Mostly shoveling. There are paths everywhere. He even brought his shovel to the neighbors and shoveled there for a bit.  Hard to get a good pic, because he is always in motion. He has been eating EVERYTHING at meals and still saying he is hungry after seconds and thirds. He has been falling asleep in 2 seconds flat.
 Anna-Kate is warming up to the idea of going out in the snow.
 Not for long. She likes to come in and warm by the fire. She says it's "too too cold out there".
 Audra, though. She is blissfully playing Road to Avonlea.  And briefly gets Anna-Kate to dress the part too (Anna-Kate is wearing a dress and apron I made Audra, they fit her now, so she says.)
 She's plenty warm in all her layers. She is very entertaining.
View from here is pretty good.

Nature Journaling: Wasp Nests

Before this blanket of snow we now have, we had been finding wasp nests like crazy!  We have found four total so far. Two very big ones, a medium sized one and a small one. We collect them for our nature table (which our nature table is taking over our house).  We also make entries into our nature journal (at this picture below, we had only found three nests, can you spot them?).
 Proud to say that these kids have done two full years of nature journaling.

 And I'm also proud to say that 50% of the time, I have been keeping up with my own nature journal. My kids fill a journal a year, I fill about a half of a journal a year. My entries are not nearly as detailed as I like (for I almost always have Anna-Kate on my lap 'helping'), but something is better than nothing.  My goal is to fill as much as my big kids do and spend the same amount of time. Someday...

Anyone else do nature journaling?  At first I thought it was just 'one more thing', but I recall what I have entered and I enjoy going back through past entries and reliving the memories. I think I'm a nature journaler for life now!


How many months have we had from our last snow to tonight?  A lot.  Not prepared, not organized (as usual), we today we had last minute scurrying.  I put a bunch more wood into the woodshed, we filled our non working freezer for feed storage with chicken pellets and I cleared a ton of brush that I had cut and hadn't moved. Just in the nick of time.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Thanksgiving 2019

Thankful to spend Thanksgiving with my favorite turkeys. Even my dad, the BOG (Bald Old Grandpa).
 Nearly every dish these kids helped make.Even Anna-Kate snapped all those beans. Now, I'm all for letting kids help, but truth be told, it was a wee bit exhausting having SO much help. But, memories were made.
 I'm also thrilled that my little pioneer girl showed up in her new mama made dress.
 She has been wearing it a lot.  So much to be thankful for!

Thanksgiving cheer

 We were at a thrift shop a few weeks ago (big surprise, I know!) and the woman ahead of us was buying these turkeys. My kids were just being themselves, shooting the breeze with her.  After she checked out, she turned to the kids and said "I'm just so impressed with what nice kids you are.  I think you should have these turkeys. You can paint them."

And so, that's how we came with two turkeys to paint.  My bigs decided they would paint them and bring them to our nursing home friends.  We go weekly to the nursing home and the residents there have become my kids' friends.

The turkeys were well received.  We also did a craft with them that our 4-H club prepped and individually packaged for two different nursing homes. I am so impressed on how my kids helped each resident with their craft. They didn't do the craft for them, they coached the residents so they could do the craft themselves.  The residents loved it and I loved watching my two big kids blossom to leaders before my very own eyes. Tis a season for thankfulness, and I'm mighty thankful for these two!

Frosty mornings

My kids roll out of bed and go outside. Always. 365 days of the year. Rain, snow, sleet and sun. Hot, warm, cold, freezing, numbing. We're out. Sometimes just for a bit, sometimes for a looooong time.  Sometimes in clothing appropriate for the weather, sometimes barefoot and no pants in 40 degree weather. I suppose is started like that when we had our cow. They'd wake and head out to the barn, to find me milking. How I miss those days. The smell of freshly cleaned stall, the vinegar I'd use to disinfect her udder/teats, the hay, grain, bag balm and sweet milk smells.  I'd sit on my stool, lean my head into the warmth of the cow's belly and get my rhythmic milking going. Swish swish, ping ping, into the milk bucket.  I tried machine milking a number of times and came to conclusion that I'm a hand milker. Nothing like it. Such a great time to think, to plan, to pray, to be still.  No longer am I milking, but we still have the habit of throwing outerwear over our sleepwear and heading out. Here we have a frosty morning, pajamas, coats, mittens, hats, a few eggs, and a guinea hen (I NEVER understand how this girl catches guinea hens. Know how fast they are?!).  Bonus:  I helped Audra make her pants, I made Adrian's pants, I made Anna-Kate's coat and neighbors and friends made the hats and some of the mittens. None of this planned, this is just an instantaneous moment in time. My husband just told me the night before last that although the lifestyle we lead is different from most, he suspected the kids will look back at their childhood fondly.  This means a lot coming from my city boy husband, who originally thought my wild and free visions of child raising were...well...interesting. Thankful for this trio, thankful for my husband who supports us living feral.

Big Girl Bed!

Just like that, we say goodbye to the crib and hello to a big girl bed. (Matching Pottery Barn-like frames for FREE...score!  The girls who had these beds were getting a room upgrade. I even double checked with the mom to make sure she didn't want anything for these. Nope. Completely free.  Pretty awesome for us!) Anna-Kate is thrilled and will tell anyone who will listen how BIG she is. 
 I can't decide if she looks so big in her big girl bed or so little that I want to scoop her out of there and put her back in her crib. This growing up thing can be hard for mamas, for sure.  Without doubt, the best thing our family did was to have 'just one more'.   


I cook or bake something everyday.  They are always invited to help.  The help has been a lot of work for me over the years, but it's nice how tides are changing. They can now bread the eggplant all on their own. Thankful for these little victories.


 These lovely hardcovers!  A shirt from Antigua for my husband (it's where we eloped and got married!) and a Reeses shirt for me. Yum!  $5.

And below a HUGE score!  These GLASS water bottles were BRAND NEW for fifty cents each!!!  And the Keenes (dress shoes) for Adrian for $6.00.  A good day thrifting, for sure!


 We bought this bike cart at the consignment sale for $15. I thought I'd pack Anna-Kate in it, the bigs could go on their bike and we'd go for a ride along the Eastern Trail. I smiled seeing Adrian spin by. Didn't think it would fit his bike too! What fun for Anna-Kate!

Except when he stopped, I noticed it was not his 2 year old sister, but his 7 year old sister! No longer is this happening, she's too heavy to tote around!  But the two bigs are taking turns giving Anna-Kate a ride around the yard.  Best $15 I have spent in a long time!

Mama Made: New Dress

The last twenty-four hours have been less than fun.  4/5 of us have had the stomach bug, me included. This afternoon I finally felt well enough to do something.  I finished this for my Audra.  Age 7, she finds it fantastic to dress up "old fashioned" and does so regularly.  I figured I ought to make a little something for her while she's still interested in being "old fashioned".

 Getting her to pose, I dare say she is stunning in this.
 And a formal curtsie.
 And then back to her wild self.
 This girl has some spunk!


This morning isn't what we expected. Kids throwing up all night means plans cancelled and cozy by the fire at home. We are pouring over the 1st edition of our homeschool co-op's magazine. It's entitled "Made in Maine" and it's just fantastic. These pics of the kids are of their entries on the day they were due. Now these entries are in a magazine!  Adrian wrote his about the Eliot Antique Tractor and Engine Show. Audra wrote hers about how Maine is the Pine Tree State.


 The more 'expensive' thrift store, but a basket making kit, a whole bunch of ropes for rope tying, a baton, books and a game. $12.

And below, more expensive than usual, but still $20 for all these books. I love these vintage field guides.


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