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.

More Wombats

Hobbies include: Wearing 'pitty dresses and pitty shoes', hiding behind curtains, bossing everyone around, chucking food across the kitchen when done, squealing when seeing any dog, toting the cat around, flushing toilets, cutting random things with scissors (grrr!), painting, reciting nursery rhymes, counting to 10, giving hugs and 'mooches' and curling up with a good book (she's still stuck on little wombats).  This one keeps us on our toes and we love her so.


 A friend gave us this school a while ago (Thank you!). We found a bag of additions for a quarter.
 Three little pig puppets, ALL THOSE PERLER beads.  Books. Maine magnetic puzzle. $5.25
Two caps for Adrian, a whole pack of blank be decorated. Books and a journal. $4.00

Happy 40th!!!

Somehow this picture was a decade ago, when you were close to turning 30, about to eat all my hard work that I was supposed to bring to a potluck.

A decade later, you're turning 40 tomorrow and you are still chocolate chip cookie obsessed.  We've had our ups and downs, but overall, I'm thankful for the life we have created.  You never complain, are a very hands on dad, put in many hours at your work to support us, never stop trying to get me to relax and are our comic relief. You definitely eat too many cookies, but you are free to eat as many as you want for your big 4-0.  Happy Birthday, Justin!


 This little one cannot get enough of Little Wombats.  I cannot get enough of watching her fall in love with books. <3


The girls spent much of their day today playing 'Old-Fashioned". Only I suppose you could call them "Modern Old-Fashioned" girls, as they have non-working remote controls in their pockets for play cell phones. Always an adventure...

Pick your battles

The kids needed a wiggle break, so I told them to take Anna-Kate with them, run to the apple tree and back. The apple tree is about the half way point of our 30 acre backyard. I told them by the time they got back, lunch would be on the table.  This was a day that the sun was shining, but it was NOT warm enough for the snow to melt.

Audra left dressed in a coat, mittens, hat and bog boots. Apparently she stripped all her winter gear at the apple tree, piled it on Anna-Kate and in her words, she 'ran like the wind' back, tugging Anna-Kate behind her.  She claims that as long as she was running fast enough, the snow wasn't 'that cold'.

There are some battles not worth fighting.  And sometimes I just have no words.

Handmade Advent Calendar

 I took down the Christmas decorations the day after Christmas, but just put away our new advent calendar.  Do you see those tiny little cross stitched ornaments. They were stitched just for me. I've been saying for years that I wanted to make a hand stitched advent calendar.  Now I don't have to. I love this one so.  Thank you. <3


 Books, paper weaving kit, stars, potholder thingy, a whole pile of farm embroidery. $4.00
Craft kits. Soccer ball. LL Bean bag, a wooden ladle, woodland fabric.  $4.00.

Another Year

Easier to read version: "To Jackie, From Audra. I love you. I do not know how you do it all. I love how you are so kind and giving. I love you. Your loving daughter, Audra. PS. You are the best mom. I hope you have the best birthday ever."

So it happened, I celebrated my 39th.  It started with a morning walk before sunup, pancakes for the littles, notes of appreciation, books, and more books. Midmorning I realized I forgot to drink the coffee I brewed.  Coffee with lunch, then a trip to the library, a dip in the pool, a spin through the local thrift shop. Home to find fun birthday mail (thank you!) and make some seafood as a birthday treat. My dear husband called and said he was close to Walmart and I could have whatever I wanted from there for my birthday if I told him what I wanted quickly. I pleaded him to leave the crisco cake there and we'd make a good one the next day. He listened and brought me some yummy dark chocolate home instead, plus guinea pig food. Next, dinner as a family and books before bed. 

Mostly ordinary, yes, but I find such comfort, beauty and love in our ordinary.

Our ordinary wouldn't be complete without wide eyes and a chuckle. Paired with the lovely note above, I received an additional wrapped gift from Audra. The gift contained the exact item she handmade and gave my husband for Christmas.  He unwrapped it just a couple weeks ago, expressed his appreciation for it.  It was unknowingly whisked away from him and regifted to me.  So bad, so sad, dear husband of mine. The homemade potholder is mine now! 

Living the good life, that's for sure.  Thankful for my 39 years.

Llama Llama

 This little one thinks everyday is a good day for Llama Llama.  I love watching her 'read'.


There's a party going on and on the menu is doughnuts.  Do these hostesses know how to throw a party or what?!


Pictures aren't great, but deals can't be beat.

 Snowpants, a hat that fits Anna-Kate.  I love Tasha Tudor, spoons (where have all my spoons gone?!), a mini mug that says "From your affectionate mother", two hand stitched Christmas linens. $7.
 Cozy socks, bag of mini rubberbands for crafting, three rolls craft paper (hello homemade wrapping paper), coat, $4.50.

Mama Made: Upcycled PJ pants

My husband went to throw away his irreparable pj pants. I snagged them quickly.  He rolled his eyes at me.  I cut them apart and stitched them into a fantastic pair of pj pants for this awesome 9 year old.  They are his new favorite pants now. (I also made him that wool vest out of an old skirt, link here .) My dear husband can roll his eyes all he wants, I'll just carry on my ploy of turning trash into treasures.


 Inside I'm making another batch of wipes, just as I do once or twice a year. Every face that needs to be wiped, every spill that needs to be cleaned up, reusable wipes it is. We literally wear them out. I haven't bought napkins, tissues or papertowels for home use in nearly 10 years!  I just wash these flannel wipes along with the diapers, so they come out fresh and sterile. Below my husband snapped a photo of my little helper with his cell phone.  She is always helpful.
Meanwhile, outside Audra somehow convinced Adrian to be her coach driver. Never a dull moment.

Seven and a HALF

Audra is now Seven and a HALF!

Past Milestones
Seven ,Six and a halfSix ,Five, 4 1/2,  Here's 4 , 3 1/23 years, 2 1/2 years2 years 18 months,  12 months,  9 months?  6 months?  3 months?  Just being born ).


You have more spunk than anyone I know!  You have lots of energy, love an exciting time and are eager to try new things.  You love going places and can talk to anyone of all ages. When we are not going places, you create your own adventure at home. Most often your adventures are 'old fashioned' adventures (in period clothing) and you end up at the cracked rock in the woods, pine stream village out back, the secret garden or the hundred acrewood, all landmarks that you have named on our property. You also enjoy traveling via bike on your adventures. Even in the winter. Even taking a bath is an adventure in your entertaining pretend world!

While you aren't always eager to try things that look different, you almost always do and then you decide you like it. Eggs are your favorite. You can eat more eggs than a grown man. You also are  a big fan of salads and any crisp, ripe fruit. Your favorite cake is coffee cake. Favorite ice cream is Mint Chip.

 You love animals and are a true animal whisperer. You love all sorts of crafty things (drawing, crochet, painting, weaving, sewing, needlepoint), gardening and cooking. You like to write and read. You love to be read to and listen to audio books. In fact, we can't go anyplace in the car without you saying "Can you turn the audiobook on?" Your favorite Audio Book is Mrs. Piggle Wiggle lately.  You listen to it over and over. The books we've read lately that you love most are Hattie and Hudson, Mandy, Adventures of Lily Lapp and Green Smoke.

Although you sometimes need help staying focused, you're a quick learner and catch onto things quickly.  This year you have been fantastic at all extracurricular activities, teachers enjoy having you in class.   You quip the most entertaining quotes and can sputter scripture out with ease.
While you keep us on our toes, your daddy and I know that our lives would never be as exciting without you in them.

I love you dearly, my Audra Grace!

Love, Mama


My heart is so very heavy as I am continually praying for strength and comfort for a very special family. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Misfits Organic Produce

We have been ordering produce through Misfits Organic Produce weekly (taking a break when my garden produce was peak) since they started delivering to Maine in May.  They sent me a friends and family referral code for 50% off. Code: COOKWME-LH0QGS

We are SO happy with our delivery, kids look forward to it. We definitely eat it all, so that's a lot of fruits and veggies added into their diet.  They have tried many new things too. I recommend trying it! If you did try, this family size box of produce would be $22, shipped with the coupon.
 The packaging is eco friendly and can be re-purposed according to Anna-Kate.
 Most of the time the produce is just over production, but we have gotten some miniature and some oversized things too. Quality is guaranteed. Our favorite was this fish potato.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...