Icy Backyard Fun

It's still cold here, but the wind died down enough for us to be out there.  Except it's slicker than slick out there.  Can't beat the weather, might as well meet it where it's at.  Ice skating in our own backyard proved to be a hit.


We're used to being outside 2-4 hours a day, everyday, no matter the weather.  But this wind?  NONE of us can deal. It's all we can take walking to and from the barn and garage.  Wind, please stop!  Because we all are itching to get back out there.  Not ready for spring yet, but we are ready for some more winter fun in non-windy weather!


This little girl is so eager for chores like her big siblings. She loves to help. She's been in charge of feeding the cats. Their portions have been hearty!

Valentine's Recap

I'm behind again on blogging.  Recapping our Valentine's Day and the days sandwiched around it...pretty darn fabulous.  I have always loved Valentine's Day, not as a romantic holiday, but as a day to express friendship and love to others.  This year we made a lot of Valentines.  And our homeschooled friends did too.  We mailed a pack of Valentines to the folks who receive Meals on Wheels, we (along with three other families) delivered packets of cards to four local nursing homes and we delivered homemade play doh to the two schools in our county that educate kids with special needs. Then I brought my kids to buy Lunchables (which they always wanted, but then decided that they looked gross and would rather have the hot corn chowder for sale in the front of the grocery store...parenting win!). Then we celebrated by going swimming at the pool we have a winter membership to.  We were the only ones making a splash.  Proud to say that it was a day that was less focused on what we get out of the day and more of giving. May the tradition of Valentine's giving continue...


Anna-Kate was quiet. Really quiet. I keep putting tap shoes on her so I can hear where she goes. But I didn't hear any tapping. I found her making such a good choice. She absolutely loves her books.  Bonus points if you know what she was reading. Any guesses?


4-H officer elections held at our house today.  We didn't mess around, this was serious business. Candidates gave speeches. Resounding applause for quality points. A fancy secret poll booth. Secret ballots.  Photo credit, Julie. I tell you, if you want to get stuff done, you want Julie on your team.  She just did such a fine job organizing all this that I am personally nominating her to organize me. Get in line, folks. She's that good.


Busy at work, I sent my husband a quick message asking how it was going.  This was his "What we're doing right now" response.  Thankful.

Salty Air

We stopped by the ocean to inhale some salty air. Only, said air nearly knocked us over. It was a windy one!  Thankful we can just 'swing by' whenever we please.


 We stopped in a new thrift shop we hadn't been before.  Above: reflector vest, John Deere hat, James Herriot books. $5.00
Interesting books, rubber spatula, gloves, wooden puzzle. $6.50.

Living Science

Fortunate that this was our science last week.  The only soul we saw on this walk was a whitetail deer. I was too slow with the camera to capture it in motion, but I did take a picture of the tracks.  The only other tracks we saw other than our own were animal tracks. Not a human footprint anywhere. I know folks flock to our town for summer fun, but I'd much prefer to be making the first tracks on the trail in the snow to and from the ocean, as well as making the only tracks present in the sand after high tide. Feels like a gift to have the ocean to ourselves like this.  Thankful to be a local.

Home Sweet Homeschool

I can promise you that it's not always sunshine, rainbows and puppies. 

But sometimes it is.

We don't always make the best decisions as parents.

But sometimes we do.

Today homeschooling was sunshine, rainbows and puppies. Thankful for an early rise, a great morning, delightful children, a husband who encouraged and kept the momentum while I was working, hours of outdoor play, a peaceful afternoon followed by a pile of before bed books. After too many days of sickness and feeling discouraged, today was just what my heart needed. Although homeschooling is not the right fit for all, it has been such a good match for our family thus far. 

Tomorrow's plan? More of the same, except we will all be home all day tomorrow thanks to a  fresh blanket of snow.  And I can't wait. Thankfulness aplenty.


 Popped into an estate sale. Not much was my taste, but I did spot all this thread, many brand new with price tags. Plus sewing needles.  $3.00 for the lot! It costs more than $3 for one spool of thread usually. 

And below someone must be doing Konmari and this didn't spark joy.  Well, hand them over. They spark joy for me!  $20 for all 9 seasons! Since the kids get shows a couple times a month on my watch, this set will probably take us all the way until their college graduation date to complete. 

Literary Lessons

It has been too many days since I have blogged and I don't like that one bit.  This space here helps me organize my thoughts so I am focusing on the good and not letting the negative sneak in and overwhelm my brain. 

Well, this last week felt overwhelming.  In fact, my Audra said to me, "Mama, when daddy was at work and Anna-Kate and I kept throwing up all night, you seem overwhelmed."  Yes, indeed.  I did feel mighty overwhelmed.  I think I changed sheets 7x between the two beds in 2 hours.  And that's while I was still packing and prepping for our first day of spring semester at our homeschool co-op. And of course that was one of many time sensitive hats I was juggling on 3 1/2 hours of sleep. 

You know the books Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina? This past week I felt like the peddler with all those caps, with many monkeys keeping me off course but never with the opportunity to fully rest and lose these hats that I've been working so hard to wear.  It's been like all my hats have been teetering to and fro and I'm in a constant state of trying to catch them.

The good part about this past week is that reading to my kids and reading to myself were still accomplished.  Those books? Well, they spoke right to my soul.

In our family read aloud, this quote popped up. "We cannot expect to keep our children forever.  Motherhood has great joys, but great sorrows too. We must accept things as they are." -Flossie and Bossie by Eva Le Gallienne.

Goodness, didn't that quote right there start to turn my mind around.  Sure, moments were stressful, but the joy far surpasses the sorrows.  My brain and calendar are clogged with good things I want to be doing. I was mostly home the whole time my children were sick and when I wasn't, my husband was caring for them. I never worry when he cares for them, he's such a good dad. The fire is warm, the books are aplenty and there's always a pet ready to snuggle.  And the list goes on...

That wee bit of text from a children's book reminded me that even when the road gets rocky that an accepting heart calms the internal dialogue.

Literary teachings didn't stop there.

Today the book that I just finished reading had this text: "And me? I just sit there, smile, my heart so full I think I'll burst, knowing what a lucky girl I am." -Penny From Heaven" by Jennifer Holm

How can I not read that quote and think about how my cup overflowth?!   Husband. Three kids. Living in my dream home. Homeschooling mama. Pets a plenty. And the list goes on...

Remembering the thick split pea fog of one whopper of a week, looking back...what I see is joy for all I have.

After that joy filled my heart, I grabbed my camera and took a few pics of the 'right now' of "Livin' Lipsky".  We had a market set up with any delicious food we could want for free. At the same time we had a live art show. Plus the sizzle on the woodstove of 'easy and cheaper than take out' Chinese food (thank you Birdseye frozen veggies) We also had a little girl sweeping the floor in her tap shoes.  Tap. Tap. Tap.  Swish. Swish. Swish. Smile. Cheesy face! Life is good. Really good.


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