Archive for the ‘family’ Category

What a Trooper

Our little guy looks so much older now, well except for his super cute dimples. He was such a trooper and so far is pretty excited about his braces. At this point he only has three brackets so he opted for light blue, dark blue, and glow in the dark. We’ve got tylenol and smoothies standing by. I hope you guys all have a great weekend and a great Valentine’s day.

family • Saturday, February 13th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

My Dream Home

I would love to live in a little stone farmhouse, complete with lush, rolling fields. With a warm fireplace, big bowls of fruit on a wooden table, and windowsills full of clay pots of flowers. Look! It’s my bowl. Where we can sit outside on a blanket, under a tree, surrounded by flowers, eating a picnic. In a small village with a summer fete. Where children can run and play safely, there’s a gorgeous church down the lane and maybe even a few cows on the lawn. Where you can buy fruits, veg, bread, pastries, flowers, even fabric at the market. Where everywhere I look there are green rolling fields, stone walls and bridges, and sweet animals. Well, a girl can dream, can’t she? All images from James Herriot’s Treasury for Children, one of my favourite children’s books.

family, home, nature • Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 • 21 Comments »


I’m enjoying the scent of my hyacinth as I try to mentally prepare for this week. We spent the last two days rearranging the living room to make more effective use of the small space. We’re nearly there, but I still have to finish sorting through our books and put the ones we are keeping back on the shelves. This is also the week that our eldest gets his braces on. I know he’s getting so big now, but I still think 8 is really young to be getting braces. We don’t really have a choice though as his permanent tooth that grew in behind his baby tooth has to be pulled forward so it doesn’t throw the rest of his bite off. I had braces when I was a kid, and I have them now, so I know how hard it can be when your mouth hurts. It’s overwhelming right after they tighten them and it can be really tough to eat. We’ve been trying to prepare him that it will hurt a bit, but that it will go away after a while. We’ll give him plenty of tylenol if he needs it and plenty of smoothies and other soft things to eat to ease the discomfort. I’m trying not to dwell on it in my own mind, it needs to be done. All he can think of is how fun it’s going to be to get glow in the dark bands on his braces, just so he can show them off to his brother at night.

family, gardening, nature • Monday, February 8th, 2010 • 6 Comments »

Outdoor Reading

Two days ago, the weather was gorgeous. Well, still a little chilly, but not so cold and windy that we couldn’t play outdoors. I bundled the babe up and took the kids out to play. They all had lots of fun, and I sat on the porch wrapped in a blanket reading a book with a mug of warm milk. I don’t get outdoors enough in the winter. If it’s not too cold, the kids go outside and play, but me, I’m usually inside trying to get laundry, cooking etc. done while they are out. Boy, it felt really good to be out there. Sitting and reading, which doesn’t happen much during the day, with the sunshine beating down on my face. I need to get out more. I know it seems kind of silly that some days I don’t even step outside of the house, but some days I don’t. We homeschool, so I don’t have to take the kids somewhere every day, and with the windchill dropping the temperature by 20 degrees most of the winter, it’s not that brilliant for being outside. That wind can be brutal, one of the downsides of winter in Wyoming. As with the 20 minutes of crafting each day, I am going to try to spend 20 minutes outdoors. I’m not sure if it’ll happen every day, but I’m going to try. I think can do twenty minutes. Other news around here, our big guy did a great job with getting his tooth pulled. I had such traumatic memories of the dentist when I was a kid, but I shouldn’t have even worried. I love our kid’s dentist, and they do too. They had it out in a matter of minutes and he came bounding out with his tooth in a little tooth shaped container. Our kiddo has been wearing a night guard as part of a series of nightguards to hopefully avoid full on braces. Today we got the bad news that he will have to wear real braces for a while as the permanent tooth that was growing in behind the baby one will need some work to be pulled forward. I also found out that my lovely braces will now be on till March 29th. Ugh! They were originally supposed to be off last September, and it has been dragging since then. So, for a little while here, me and my kiddo will both have braces on at the same time. He is really excited at the thought of having blue bands around his brackets. The kids are always disappointed when I refuse to get hot pink ones. I try to explain that that is more for kids, and not mommies. Good news though, our van is fixed. What we thought was going to be a whole transmission problem was just one little part. The dealer was going to charge us $170 to switch it out. Hubby ordered the part for $35 and switched it himself. Yay! That was a huge relief. Don’t forget to leave a comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win some cloth bags. It’s nice to meet some new people. Hope you guys have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow.

books, family, home, homeschooling • Friday, January 29th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Vintage Towels

In my effort to be more organized, I have been trying to figure out what some of our big problem areas are. One small problem area is bath towels. After bath time, there is always at least one bath towel laying on the floor. None of the kids want to claim it as their own, and we often can’t be sure which child left it there. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive problem, but it is something that we can fix very easily. I kept my eyes out at the thrift store for some pretty vintage towels for the girls. Now, every child has their own colour of towel, which means that we know exactly whose towel is on the floor. We could have just bought different coloured towels at the store, but why do that when there are some fantastic vintage ones out there, and at a fraction of the price. I just love these and the girls really like the floral patterns. Besides, they are very good quality towels, they have to be, to be in such good shape after years of use. So we’ll see how this organizes bath time a bit better. I guess if all else fails, we have prettier towels.

family, green, home, thrift store finds • Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 • 15 Comments »

A Little Bit About Me

I thought I would share some things about myself, so that you could get to know me a bit better. This is me, you’ll have to pardon the squinty eyes, it was very cold outside, and bright, and my 8 year old son was taking the picture for me, so we were in a hurry to get back in where it was warm. As for the lack of smile, please refer to No.1. So, in no particular order, here we go. No.1 I have braces on my teeth for the second time in my life. When I was a kid, I had them to straighten out my front teeth. During my senior year in college (13 years ago, yikes) the disc slipped out of my jaw joint and I was in tremendous pain for quite some time. Even serious pain meds couldn’t make a dent. A year after that, we found an orthodontist that could make a retainer for me to relieve the pressure of that. I wore that for 10 years until I found another orthodontist who had massively high success rates of fixing TMJ problems with orthodontics. Almost 2 1/2 years ago, I got this set of braces on and he has slowly been fixing my problems. Boy, I thought I felt pretty dorky as a kid with braces, yeah, doesn’t compare to wearing them as an adult. I am extremely grateful that he has in essence made me pain free, but I am oh so ready for these to come off. They are due to come off next month, and I can’t wait. Then my smile shall return. No.2 My dad was in the U.S. Navy for a long time and mostly we lived overseas. I was born and lived in Japan for almost five years, then after living in Maryland for a couple of years, we moved to England, then Scotland. I loved it. We lived in Cheltenham, and I went to British schools. Those were the best years ever, and I can’t wait to one day take my family back there. As putting six of us on a plane is a tad bit over our budget, I’ll have to dream on for a little bit. One day…. No.3 I am a leftie. I love being a leftie. Sure, there are always annoying little things like scissors being angled incorrectly, or spirals on notebooks getting in the way when I write, but the only time being a leftie was actually a disadvantage was in second grade. My teacher thought it was entirely appropriate to ridicule me in front of the class for being left-handed. “Why can’t you write like everybody else?” she asked constantly, with disgust in her voice, loud enough for everyone to hear. Sweet woman. Oh, and as much as I wanted to use fountain pens, I wasn’t ever really able to, it just left a inky smear. Other than that, I love being a leftie. No.4 When I am overwhelmed, a good book, a slice of cake, and a cup of tea do wonders. No.5 I am learning way more now that I am homeschooling my kids, than I ever did growing up. I’m still amazed at how so many of my teachers made history so boring. I love homeschooling and look forward to many more years of it. No.6 I love flowers. I love pretty plants, and I need to get some more for inside the house. They cheer me up, especially in the winter. I prefer plants over flowers at the moment, because they are so expensive, and plants last a lot longer. I do have plans for a cutting garden one day, and then my home will be filled with plants and cut flowers in every room. No.7 For the last 9 years and 3 months, I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding. It doesn’t feel that long, but between the four kids, it has. No.8 I love the rain, I think it must have something to do with growing up in England. I really do love it, I find it soothing, and beautiful. As long as it’s not freezing cold, I love to be out in the rain. It doesn’t bother me at all. No.9 I prefer to be barefoot. I don’t really care for socks or shoes and would go barefoot all the time if I could (well not out to the stores etc.) That is the part I like the least about winter. I don’t mind wearing sweaters, or snuggling up in blankets, but I really hate it when it finally gets cold enough that I have to wear socks. No.10 We bought 40 acres when I was pregnant with the babe. We are hoping to move out there in the next year. I can’t wait. I dream of one day having chickens, a beautiful barn, and lots of space for the kids to play. A massive veg garden, a small orchard, and a cutting garden. I have so many plans, who knows how long it will take for us to make them a reality, but I’m planning. So, we have four youngish (8,6,5 and 18 months) children and a pretty small house. We homeschool them, which means they are always here, always. Some days are more about keeping the peace than anything else. Some days all I need is an hour without any noise. There are plenty of good bits, way more than bad bits. I have four sweet, loving children, and I am very blessed to have them. But you know what, I love what I do, I have the best job in the world, and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything in the world.

family • Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 • 27 Comments »

Those In Need

After the sheer amount of devastation in Haiti following the earthquakes, I am indeed holding my family a little closer. Such tragedy, and sadness. So many lives lost. May our thoughts and prayers (and also money, if possible) be with the people of Haiti, and anyone also affected. May we also remember that there are suffering people all over the world, including our own doorsteps. May we hold our family and friends a little closer and realize that our lives can change in a second, and to be thankful for the blessings that we have.

family • Thursday, January 14th, 2010 • 5 Comments »

Very Domestic Indeed

rolling pin There are some days where it seems that all I do is make sure the kids are fed, and some learning is accomplished. Where I spend my time breaking up fights and calming frustrated little ones, while balancing a fussy toddler on my hip and trying to get some laundry done. Yesterday was the complete opposite. I was able to bake three loaves of bread, make two quarts of yogurt, wash diapers and gets lots of schooling done. I felt very domestic indeed. We read about St. Alban and Hadrian’s Wall (I just love being able to tell the kids that I have been to some of these places, they get so excited). The children went outside to play, and despite being bundled up like eskimos, they came back in rosy cheeked after only twenty minutes. We had lots of snuggles and were even able get some extra reading done before supper. We are reading The Wishing Chair Collection by Enid Blyton. I loved these books as a child and now my kids do too. They are magical tales that are calmer than a lot of fairy tales, which is really good for my kiddos that have less of a tolerance for scary. Overall it was about as close to domestic bliss as we get around here. Definitely a very good day, especially when all the children were snug in their beds by seven o’clock. Check out this beauty of a rolling pin. It was another gift from Christmas, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It was handmade in Breckenridge, Co. and I’m so glad it found it’s new home with me. Now I really need to bake a pie and try it out. What is your favourite domestic chore? Is it baking, folding laundry, or doing a big spring clean?

family, food, gifts, home, homeschooling • Thursday, January 7th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Tell Me A Story

tell me a story Tell Me A Story is a great book/game/not quite sure what to categorize it as thing we use around here. Since we homeschool, I am always on the lookout for fun creative ways to increase their skills. These are packs of 36 very sturdy, very well illustrated cards. There are many ways to use them. Sometimes I have the kids pick out a group of cards, lay them out in the order they want and then I tell them a story based on the pictures. Other times they grab a stack of them and I have them tell me a story. They are really effective with some of the kiddos that are less confident about making up stories. It gives them pictures to base the story on while still requiring them to come up with the words. We really enjoy them and they are also a great gift. They encourage creativity, which is huge for me. We have Mystery in the Forest, and Little Robot’s Mission. They also make Fairy Tale Mix-Up and Circus Animal’s Adventure. Hope you all are having a great day, cold and dreary here today.

books, family, homeschooling • Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 • 4 Comments »

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 »