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.

His Sweatshirt

He has wanted tractor apparel since he was 2. Problem is, the older he gets, the more expensive John Deere clothing is. We found this fleece lined sweatshirt for $1.00 (tags still on!). We cut apart a toddler hat that no longer fit him. We stitched that patch onto his sweatshirt. And now he has a new to him and made by him John Deere sweatshirt.  He loves it.

Reading to her childrens

Here she is. Reading to her childrens.  A little homemade dress, wool socks, wool rug, vintage books by the wood fire, with all of her childrens close by.  A good way to spend a cold day.
 I could watch my little librarian do story hour everyday.


 Cowboy boots in my husband's size (which we all think it's hilarious to see city boy wearing cowboy boots!), a blank journal, Anna-Kate's new favorite dress and brand new speakers, not even out of the package! $4.50

And below: four sets of bookends, even with the prices still on them!  And books. $6.50


Thankful for this trio the small fraction of pears we were gifted from our neighbors. (yes,we'll eat them all...and then some!)
 Thankful for home sweet home
 And for our three season porch (which we really ought to get those screens out and walls and windows back in!). Thankful for this son and his helpfulness.  This little girl and the joy she brings us, plus he little homemade dress.
 Thankful for this girl and her spunk and style. (Like her new vintage coat she scored for $1 in an after Halloween sale?!)  And all of our animals.
 Thankful we've been able to keep them home thus far
 And thankful for our daily adventures and service activities. 
After days of struggles, it's time to dust off my thankfulness hat.  Even cobwebs are quite beautiful. steps.

As of late, I'd describe my current position in this ocean of parenthood as treading water, trying to stay afloat, hanging on by a too small buoy.  Each day I have ideas and goals I set out to accomplish and each night I go to bed with that same to-do list, untouched.

This has been one of my projects that is moving oh so slowly. 

This hedge next to our house was once a well tended garden. When we moved in, it had decades of overgrowth in this particular area. Every couple of years I work to trim it back, but it keeps coming back with more and more expansive powers.  It's all junk that I don't want too!  Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY wants multiflora rose or bittersweet. We have more than enough burning bush.  Wineberry, barberry, no thanks berry.  So invasive. And pricky.  And the stuff I actually want to keep is very overgrown and could use a big haircut.

I have more scars and thorns in my body now that I did a couple weeks ago, but I'm determined to get this stuff up from root. I told my husband that if I don't do it when I'm healthy, this stuff will envelop our house if we let it grow. 

So far from being done, but there's a wee bit of progress. I found some buried garden edging too. I'm wondering if I pull all this invasive stuff up if we might just see some hidden perennials pop up. It's happened before in other parts of this property.

It's a mess. It's a big pile (that's problematic because it contains seeds for more multiflora rose. NOOOO!), but little by little, I'm making a dent.  And look,where you used to not even be able to see through, let alone walk through, you can now see a root free path! Still need to get to the brush on the right and take care of that pile. One step at a time.

Oh my heart

Here she is playing with my mom's old cookie cutters, which I store in the basket Grammy made, on a table that my dad made, next to a chair that was her great uncle's.  Dressed all fancy, singing while she's cooking. A homemaker to admire.

Animal lovers

These girls love their animals!  Adrian likes to take care of them. The girls love to snuggle them. A good team, indeed!


Today thanks to my husband, I had three whole hours to myself.  Goodness, I have looked forward to this for days.  When they left, the first thing I did was burst into tears. Tears of relief from finally having no one needing me (realizing lately that between home, work and my 4-6 weekly volunteer activities.....I am ALWAYS with kids!), tears from sleep deprivation, from not sitting down in days, from looking around and seeing all the things that needed doing that I haven't yet got to, tears from feeling inadequate.

After a bit, I picked myself up. I made myself a cup of coffee and actually drank it warm on my screen porch. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures with the 'life is good' attitude (pics below). I sewed. I listened to a podcat on parenting. I made a nice dinner for my family.  I took a walk by myself.  I welcomed my babies back home with opened arms as they ran to me for hugs. I truly did miss them. Now after this reset, I am more than ready to tackle my week of kids, kids and more kids. Even though life gets overwhelming at times, I'm really blessed to be living this amazing life.

Plenty to read.

Plenty to eat
 Enough to keep us warm and to cook on
 Handmade woolens and diaper covers drying (hung by the littles)
 Coffee and my most loyal girl
 Beautiful to do lists
Collections that spark joy
A homestead and home filled with so many living things
And reminders here there and everywhere that my feelings of inadequacy are superfluous.  I am more than enough for all this.  I believe just as my Gram used to say, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This week is going to be a good one.

Recap two and a HALF

The celebration of these half birthdays is one of my most favorite family traditions. Her half birthday fell on a day when we both were working (opposite shifts), so my husband and I weren't in the same place at the same time all that day to celebrate. I did the presents. He did the cake.  I have pics of the presents, none of the cake.
 A bath toy, something to keep her quiet when I am working 1:1 with the bigs and Beatrix Potter on Audio.  She was very happy.
 Goodness, it seems like just yesterday Adrian was two and a half (memory lane here)

ANd just yesteday Audra was two and a half (memory lane here again)

Big, big and getting bigger all the time.  Happy two and a HALF Anna-Kate!


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