Homemade Soap

I've been making our soap for a few years now. Made six batches in one day, hoping that will last us the year.  I still have buttermilk from my cow hand milking days frozen for soapmaking.  So here I have buttermilk, coconut oil, olive oil and lavender soap. It's our favorite soap.  My working hands could sure use a whole lot of it.

My Valentines 2/14/2020

 Valentine's day this year was a good, good day, one that I want to freeze and remember for it reflects how much joy motherhood brings me.  Sadly, we didn't get to see my husband that day, but we did have a fun filled and packed day.  We started the day with chocolates from mama.  Then from homeschool co-op to library ,to the pool, to the ocean for read alouds and an 'in the car dinner picnic', to a visit with our neighbors, we were busy.  So cold but such a good day.  Big kids went outside at the beach.  Anna-Kate said she's not doing that (she meant she was not going outside.).
 The ocean was so cold, so empty and so beautiful. Thankful for my kindle with books on the ready. On the 3rd in  Nesbit's Psammead Trilogy, loving each one.  They won't always want to spend their Valentine's Day with me, but they do now. For that I'm thankful. .  

Caught reading

 Let's do a little math here. How many living things are completely engrossed in Richard Scarry?  One-two-three-four. This guinea pig is well on her way to becoming literate.


I sent the kids outside. It wasn't 10 minutes that they were back inside and I found myself washing a rooster's foot to tend to a small bleeding cut.  I don't find this rooster a nice rooster, but somehow Audra can just go scoop it up and bring him on adventures. She absolutely loves taking care of all our animals, so this tiny cut was an immediate emergency she insisted on attending to.  He's all doctored up thanks to Audra.  Anna-Kate has her favorite, a sweet little silkie that she totes around. Nothing wrong with the silkie, she was just long for the ride.  Some of their best friends are chickens.

Delivery day

Wednesdays are our produce day. It sort of feels like a weekly Christmas. I'm not sure if it's *that* exciting or if this is what my world has come to.  Anyway...

Look at the gorgeous lettuce.
We finally got a romanesco.
If you want to give it a whirl, here's a code: COOKWME-LH0QGS  https://www.misfitsmarket.com/


 I cannot even tell you what a score this was.  Top right. Six panels of floor to ceiling brand "Country Curtains" in that ticking print, brand new, marked at $90, then marked to $40. We happened to be there on 50% off Friday.  $20 for the six of them.  Score!  Plus a pack of poster board, quality mittens and patterns for an extra $3.
Books, hieroglyphs pack, barn boots for Adrian, head band and more quality mittens. $6.00.

And how this girl spent her $1.00.  A vintage nightgown.

Dress up

A sweet friend invited the girls over to play dress up and take pictures.  Just so darling, they cannot wait to play again. <3

A day in the life of Holly

 A snapshot of Holly's morning.  Everyone could use a little Holly in their lives. Best dog ever.

Winter is back

We have snow again. And ice. And wind. Winter, thaw, back to winter.  Fit a walk in today in between the pelts of freezing rain and now I'm by the fire keeping warm. Winter can carry on, I have adventures awaiting for me in hardcover and paperback.

(These pics were from before the last thaw.  Now all these trees are bending with ice).


My brilliant 4-H co-leader suggested we use club money to buy reusable place settings for our 4-H potlucks.  I absolutely loved the idea and said, "Wait. I bet I could already provide transportable place settings for our whole club." We washed up my tinware collection (which I buy if I find them for a dollar or less).  Do I ever have a collection!  Now our 4-H club meals will end with little to no trash! Here's the start of our cleaning. This isn't even my whole collection!

 Speaking of collections, I took our my ice skate collection so my kids could pick out ones that fit.  These were all thrifted, I think the most expensive pair was $5.  I have enough to host a skating party and invite half the town. Perhaps we should get making a rink!

Nighttime reads

As I tucked my kids into bed the other night and they snuggled into their independent reading routines, I just stopped and realized how beautiful this time in my life is.  Because of our schedules, I don't have my husband here at night and it has been my responsibility alone to put the kids to bed for their entire lives.  There are certain parts of our day that are frantic, but for the most part, we have built bedtime to not be one of those frantic times.  We first huddle into my bed for family read alouds and then they retreat into their own beds for their own quiet reading.  It's relaxing. Peaceful. The part of the day we all look forward to.  In fact, my bigs are unwilling to give up our evening routine, even for fun endeavors.

Much of my brain space is all too often occupied by that which I ought to do or frustrations of not completing what I ought to have done.  I am my own worst critic and I do not go easy on myself.  Sometimes my exhausting self talk captures all my brain space and I forget to see what is good right in front of my nose. Today I am aiming to hit mute on all that internal chatter and look to see what is right, instead of what is all wrong.

This is what's good. This is what's right. This is what I'm thankful for.


My little girl wearing a mama made dress and a necklace that she made, fixing a meal and reading stories to the (well loved) doll that I made years ago. Life is good.

Winter picnics

 Seems like just a wee bit of time ago we had all this snow. I packed them a picnic and sent them on their way. They spent the better part of the day in the woods at 'Cracked rock'.  I don't know what they were doing, but I do know their imaginations were running wild. Days like these are the best days of childhood. 


 Game, all those adorable finger puppets, brand new crafting kit, watch. $5.50
Two games. Two like new kleen kanteens and vintage books. $5.00

Homemade: Reusable Gift Bags

I've been saying for a number of years that I wanted to make a good number of reusable gift bags in a coordinated material. I have used reusable gift bags under the Christmas tree for the last decade, but the store bought ones I have lack in quality.  I've made a couple here and there, but this year I actually dove in and made a pile.  I made them in three sizes and in a fabric that will be appropriate year round, not just for Christmas.  They already have come in handy for our half birthday traditions and my husband's birthday scavenger hunt.
It's nice to have a good number now. I'm going to store them on our main level of living for easy access (opposed to the Christmas decorations in the attic).
I was a fan of them under the Christmas tree. I think they will get plenty of use.
I'd highly recommend making a set. Convenient, time saving, eco friendly. An all around win. Because I'm so passionate about waste free wrapping paper, I am even willing to hire myself out for custom orders of reusable gift bags from now until garden season. Or if you are local, I am happy to teach you how. Such a small change, but if many jumped aboard, what a great way to reduce our use of disposable materials.


All of this snow is gone. GONE!  4/5 of us love winter around here and it looks so blah out there! Today I was scooping dog poop, cleaning muddy foot prints, monitoring a puddle in the basement and watching kids and goats run around without coats. We saw Geese flying north on Sunday and a tree full of Robins last Monday. Lots of nature journaling happening about these changes. I suppose the brief reprieve of sub freezing temperatures is not terrible, but we won't be sad if there's another foot or two to play in and another snowday or two that keeps us cuddled fireside with a soup simmering on the woodstove for lunch.  I'm such a lover of seasons. As much as I love spring, I'm still loving winter.


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