Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

Be Still

be still necklace A new year, so full of possibilities. I must admit, after all the gearing up for Christmas, it is sometimes a bit of a relief when it is finished. I immediately think of the spring coming (though that won’t be for many months here), and new life and warmth. I look forward to celebrating a new year of birthdays starting with all of my boys in the spring. Thoughts of what to plant, where to plant it, and how much to plant. Dreaming of picnics every week in the warm summer sun, having it be warm enough to let my kids play for hours outside every day. We have serious cabin fever by this time of year. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just cold, but the wind makes it unbearable. I’m not such a huge fan of resolutions, but a new year does make me reflective over how I would like to do things this year. Much of this past year was spent physically, mentally, and emotionally recovering from the previous two years. This year I feel a renewed vigor and enthusiasm, and I am excited for the possibilities. This necklace was a gift from Hubby. It was made by Lisa Leonard and is called Be Still. I absolutely love it, and it is a constant reminder to be still. Being still is sometimes a little difficult with four children. This year, I want to live in the moment more. Enjoy each and every hug, story, cuddle that I am blessed enough to have. I want to enjoy cooking more, so often it’s a matter of just trying to get a nutritious meal on the table while stopping a squabble, holding a fussy babe and trying to think straight and stir at the same time. I want to be outside more, and truly enjoy the beauty of the world around us. To visit family more as time goes by so quickly, and the children are growing at the speed of light. I want to lie in the grass and read stories to my children, make them picnics to have on adventures in the back yard. Then there are the more domestic things that I want to accomplish, such as being more organized, getting some sort of chore system worked out with the abilities of everyone in the family. Being really good about making a big shopping trip and then only going out when we need milk and fresh veg/fruit. I could go on forever as there are probably hundreds of things I want to do, but my overarching goal is to be still, enjoy what God has given me, and make thousands of new, fantastic memories with my family. I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful new year and are able to accomplish all that you want. Happy New Year!

books, crochet, family, food, gardening, gifts, green, home, homeschooling, kid's art, nature, sewing, thrift store finds, travelling • Friday, January 1st, 2010 • 11 Comments »

Nature In Illinois

mushrooms on tree acorns moss I love living on the prairie, but the one thing I do miss most is the lush, green surroundings of just about anywhere else. Everything is so different here. It’s rainy (which I love), there is still so much green around (though I only managed to show pictures with more browns), and there is an abundance of wildlife and beauty. There are wild mushrooms growing everywhere. I am waking up to loads of different bird song. I can feel the moisture in the air, and I love it. Hubby’s parents live in what used to be an old military academy and the grounds are gorgeous. They said that there are often deer, even wild turkeys running around out back. Also, lots of woodchucks, tons of birds and lately, there have been sightings of a coyote in the woods. Yesterday while everyone else was taking a nap or watching football, I put the babe in the sling and my mother-in-law and I took a nice long walk. The weather has been in the fifties here, so a huge change from the below freezing weather at home. It’s been nice to be outside, and I have been trying to be out whenever I can. Anyway, the walk, it was gorgeous. Beautiful stone and brick buildings everywhere, even a gorgeous brick sidewalk. I couldn’t take the camera yesterday as it’s really hard to take photos with the babe strapped to my front. She fancies herself a photographer which makes for an interesting time. I promise I will take more photos when I’m out with Hubby so he can carry her. The only downside was that on our way back, we spotted a coyote across the street in front of a house, so I am a little nervous about being out with small children and I probably won’t go walking anywhere unless Hubby is along. I still don’t have regular access to the internet which is making posting, reading, commenting, even e-mail a bit of a problem. Hopefully that will be resolved soon. Can’t wait to show you some more of the views here. Hope you are all having a fantastic week.

nature • Monday, December 14th, 2009 • 4 Comments »

Being Grateful

longhorn cowToday I am grateful for my family, my beautiful children, my fantastic husband, the fact that we have friends and family who love us. I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads, and warm clothes on our bodies. I am thankful that we are able to educate our own children and that we have that extra time in the day to be close. I am grateful for little bodies nestled close while sleeping, and for big hugs and high fives. I am grateful for the fact that my children have tremendous amounts of creativity and imagination, even if it does get them into trouble sometimes. I am thankful that nursing still comforts the babe when she is tired, or hungry, or just needs extra snuggles. I am thankful that, though they have their moments, my children all love each other. I am thankful that God has given us life and love. Have a wonderful weekend of being grateful.

family, home, nature • Thursday, November 26th, 2009 • 4 Comments »

A Winter Wreath

autumn wreathI’m not normally a wreath person, but I had seen several pictures lately of wreaths made with pinecones and other nuts that I just loved the look of. This past Saturday I was in our local thrift store looking for a few items and as soon as I walked in the door, this beauty was sitting on the table right inside. Someone had taken the time to individually wire all of the pinecones, chestnuts, walnuts and many other gorgeous brown items to a frame. It is absolutely beautiful and they were practically giving it away at $1. I really love that it’s not Christmassy as it can be displayed all through the autumn and winter. It always make me a little sad when I see things that were so lovingly made go for such a small sum. On the other hand, I am thankful that it wasn’t just tossed out, and now my family can give it a new life where it will be much loved and appreciated.

home, nature, thrift store finds • Monday, November 16th, 2009 • 15 Comments »

Tic Tac Toe From Nature

woodentictactoeMy kids love tic tac toe, especially the boys. I often find bits of paper with their games scrawled on them, so I was excited to see this in a book I recently checked out of the library. Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials is excellent. A lot of kid’s crafts books have maybe one or two projects that I would actually want to do with the kids, but this has a bunch, so many that I’m going to purchase the book. My six year old gathered all of the sticks and rocks and I helped him tie the smaller sticks into crosses. The boys have been playing with it and are really enjoying it. I love that it is made of natural materials, and love that there was more than just playing a game involved. There was gathering of materials, creativity and time involved in making it, and then the fun in playing it again and again. This is just the first of many projects out of this book that we will be working on, you guys should definitely check it out if you can.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Thursday, November 5th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Paper Flowers

paper flowersA couple of weeks ago I was brainstorming for ideas for decorating my girl’s room and making paper flowers was one thing I thought of. Last week I saw Lisa’s paper flower tutorial which is great. There are also some paper flowers in Green Crafts for Children which is a fantastic book. I ended up using Lisa’s tutorial as a base but used tissue paper that was 8" x 8" instead of 8" x 16". I also rounded the corners for more defined petal shapes. I love how they turned out and my daughter had a lot of fun making a bunch. We made enough to fill a silver bucket for her dresser (I’ll show you all the finished bouquet as soon as her room is done). You should definitely give these a try, there are so many variations, and they are inexpensive and quick to make. They were a huge success.

family, gardening, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, November 2nd, 2009 • 10 Comments »

Sweet Fabric Bird

finished bird.jpgSome weeks it seems as though I don’t have a spare minute to breathe let alone craft, but after going for a while not creating anything, I get a serious itch. I am working on decorating my girl’s room and this is one project for it, a sweet little fabric bird. It was so windy today I had a really difficult time photographing him, he just wanted to fly away, so the picture is not brilliant. He is a sweetie though. I used a vintage sheet I picked up at a thrift store, and some vintage buttons. The wing is made from some fabric from one of the babe’s dresses that she outgrew. He has cute little crochet legs and wooden button feet. I really enjoyed working with vintage fabrics, buttons, cotton yarn, an alpaca blend yarn and hand embroidering as well. I think that is a lot of his charm is that he is a hodgepodge of materials. I’m hoping to have a tutorial up by tomorrow in case anybody wants to make their own cute birdy. UPDATE: The tutorial is now available here.

crochet, home, nature, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 • 10 Comments »

A Date with my Hubby and Art Wires

barn.jpg It’s a very rare time when Hubby and I get a day by ourselves, but my mom generously offered to watch the three bigger kids while we took the babe and went off for the day. As anybody with kids knows, sometimes it is really hard to get an adult conversation in while they are still awake. Since the babe doesn’t talk yet, we were able to spend the whole day talking, while we were actually awake enough to think straight. We drove 40 minutes away to a town that has a few nice things to do. On the way we saw this fantastic barn and some gorgeous trees (most of the ones where we live went straight from green to dead because of all the snow, no autumn colours).orange trees.jpg We walked around the historic downtown for quite a while and stopped at a local brew pub for a quick lunch. It was so nice to be able to get out in the fresh air, it was a gorgeous 70°, and do lots of walking and talking. After some more walking we went to a bookstore where we were able to leisurely browse through some books and magazines until I almost jumped out of my skin as a mouse scurried by my feet. I do not like mice, I do not do well around mice, mice are not my friends. I have an irrational fear of them and seeing this little guy put me on edge. They say that the best way to face your fears is to jump headfirst, right? I’m seriously considering going to a pet shop to hold the mice because I really do not like being controlled (through my fear) by these little guys. Anyway, that’s another story…buffalo.jpgOn the way home we saw a bunch of buffalo, they are truly magnificent creatures. Then we passed one of the windmill farms near us. Some people complain that they are an eyesore, but personally, I think they are beautiful and calming. I often think it would be nice to grab a blanket and a book and sit in the middle of a windmill farm. Not really a possibility, but still.windmills.jpgOh, and on Sunday I tackled one little project. I hung some art wires (well, cotton yarn) for the boys to hang some of their artwork. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but I just never got around to it. Now for less than a quarter, the boys have somewhere to arrange their never ending supply of artwork, and it adds some nice colour to their walls as well.art wire.jpgI’ve got lots planned for this week, so it if goes according to plan, I’ll have several fun things to share with you.

family, home, kid's art, nature • Monday, October 26th, 2009 • 7 Comments »

The Prairie Sky

prairie sunsetBear with me while I show you a couple more photos of the sky. I miss a lot of things out here on the prairie, hills, trees, the sea, but one thing I love is the sky. You can see for miles and miles, and the sky seems as though it never ends. This is particularly beautiful when it comes to sunrises and sunsets. I was washing up after supper when I looked out the window, and the sky was pink. I grabbed my camera and went for a quick walk up the road. Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love the sky out here. It only took about ten minutes for the sun to go down, and as I got back to the house I turned around and this is what I saw. tree and moonMy five year old loves the moon, and she can spot it whenever it is out. Well, I’m off tomorrow for a full day “date” with my hubby (and baby) while my mom watches the 3 bigger kids. This is a very rare occasion and I intend to fully enjoy it. Have a great weekend, I’ll see you on Monday.

nature • Saturday, October 24th, 2009 • 5 Comments »

Fresh Air and Sunshine

shoesI’ve decided we don’t walk nearly enough. When I was a girl and we lived in England, we walked all the time. If we could walk instead of drive, we did. We walked to and from school every morning, and I’m pretty sure it was 45 minutes each way. I think we miss so much by not walking more, the fresh air, exercise, and sunshine does the body and mind such good.pebblesYesterday was a bit of a hectic day with normal day to day stuff and then the babe had a well-baby appointment. She was pretty fussy after some vaccinations, so when we got home and had an hour before supper, I bundled everybody up and headed outside.dead flowersMost of what we saw wasn’t anything spectacular, just normal things like rocks on the roadside, flowers that had been wiped out by the snow and frost, yet still remained beautiful in their own way. cracks in the roadCracks in the road and puddles to jump in were next on the walk.puddlesThere was nothing extraordinary about what we saw, but that’s where I think the magic comes in. It was really nice to just be outdoors. The sunshine, crisp cool air, exercise and just every day nature was making everybody feel better. I felt less stressed, the babe calmed down, and the bigger kids had a great time running around and just being themselves.end of the road viewThis view, however, was spectacular. It is what we see at the end of our road, and was the perfect ending to a refreshing, energizing walk. We were able to go home, eat supper, and settle all of the little ones down to bed, where they fell fast asleep, exhausted and content.

family, nature • Friday, October 23rd, 2009 • 13 Comments »