Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Reads & Friday Freebie!

One of our favorite reads is the Faraway Tree Stories (along with The Wishing Chair, same author) ~ wonderful fantasy fun, just perfect for summer.

We also take advantage of the abundant wildlife opportunities. These Yesterday's Classics books by Clara Dillingham Pierson are fun for learning about the local ecology (we just happen to share much of the author's environmental splendor). Another nice series is Arabella Buckley's books... by Pond and River has a nifty little idea for making pond nets with natural materials. Some others in the series are Trees and Shrubs, Birds of the Air and Insect Life ~ all good summer fun for the 8+ crowd who are looking for a deeper understanding of ecology.

Oh, and our Friday Freebie? How about one of those sweet little bags from last week (or was it 2 weeks ago?). Either way, the little miss handbags - perfect name for them! Good Luck :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


And some considerations...

Such as, would it be fun to be a birthday photographer?
I think so. Most definitely. Being around all that joy?
My, that would be good.

Then, considering the small fact that I have been known to make some non disposable, natural birthday packages for about combining the two?

Just considering, of course...

And, I would have a long way to go with learning more about photographing and this little camera in general (ahem, still haven't read the manual ;)

All in all, just some fun thoughts for a bit...

Happy celebrating!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Left Behind

And found again...

No, this is not about children and the grocery store parking lot. It is however a bit about children and perhaps a lot more about motherhood. If the two can be separated...

This weekend I decided last minute to go to a reunion.
Highschool reunion?
Umm, no...
Family reunion?
Ummm, well, no again.

This was...a nightclub reunion.

Yes, you read that perfectly. This mama to 5 drive herself an hour and a half south at 10' at night to hang with some old friends for about the same amount of time and then turned around and drove back home for that same said hour and a half.

And, it was worth every second.

How amazing is it to see a room full of people in their 30's, 40's, 50's and even 60's completely in sync with music? Unspeakably.

In relation to motherhood. What did I take out of this? Connectivity for sure. How we (ourselves as mothers, our children, our communities) all benefit from mothers being connected to all aspects of themselves. The multifaceted balance of beauty and imperfection that we all are. Leaving any of those facets behind seems to possibly leave a little less of us to offer.

Here's to reconnecting...

(and thanks for the nudge friends, xo)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Time Alone...

The other evening I had some time alone.

Without sewing.

Without running errands.

Without cleaning.

Just being.

It had been so long since I did, well nothing. It was only an hour and the majority of it was spent just feet away. Yet, that was all it took to be so restorative. The quiet. The calm. A minute or two to complete some thoughts that had been kicking around my head.

Only an hour and then I was ready to come back home. Before coming in, I stood in our driveway, leaning against our van for a bit listening to the pre-bedtime sounds drifting from the open window. Jazz music, organizing the tooth brushing ritual, the readying of pajamas... Simply put...I loved hearing it all. Such a different experience to hear it from the outside rather than being in the midst of the pre-bedtime frenzy. Somehow, it seemed so much calmer from that standpoint. Then I realized, it is that way (well, much of the time at least ;)..most of the frenzied feeling comes from me trying to get it all done and get them into bed. If I just placed myself in the moment and let go, I think I would feel that wash of gratitude I felt while leaning against our van. Gave me a little something to think about...

Like how our 5 year old gets super silly right before bedtime. It struck me, that's how she is choosing to connect with me, one last time before drifting off. This may not be the way I would choose for us, but it is the reality...and rather than trying to change it into something else (more calmer? more bedtime "appropriate"?) I could embrace it and connect. So on and so on for my other loves as well. I wonder how many moments I've slipped through, not seeing because I didn't recognize it. Just a little tweak in perspective I guess...

Oh! And our winner this week? Glad you asked!
Congrats mamak!
Send me a little note, with your address and your picnic lunch will be on its way!
Thanks for playing along and I hope folks can come on over and play again next week as well!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sprucing Up...

Lest y'all think our days are mightily lazy...we have been sprucing up a bit - that is, between the favorite shirt finding, snack making, shoe tying moments of our life, of course ;)

About 8 years ago we moved in and, aside from ripping out the carpet and putting in new flooring,...we haven't done much really. You see, this was meant to be just be a temporary landing spot, not our home. We thought this would be a fun place to live for a bit, cozy, the water right here, quiet, great for the then 1 child and brand new baby to play...Then slowly, eventful day by non-eventful day, or really, moment by moment of first crawls, steps, words and all the loveliness in between of growing into a family... this did become home. Although we have flipped and flopped and had the "should we stay or should we go now" (hmm, I hear a tune in there somewhere) a thousand times, we have just decided that yes, we are staying. For an indefinite amount of time that we plan to make the absolute best of. So, we decided to actually move in. You know, make it our own. Oh, the plans we have...decisions, decisions.

One major point being - a mud room. You can imagine the mess in spring and winter, right? Boots, raincoats, snowsuits - oh my! Honestly, it can be a little overwhelming without a spot to keep all that contained in. So, we are thinking...

We will see where that leads.

For now, we are focusing on getting this house painted and maybe even some shrubbery along the side of the house. The little things...making it more our home.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Locally organic

We spent mid morning with friends touring the lovely Winterberry Farm. Mary is one busy mama and her farm is truly a beautiful labor of love...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Is a good time to start some giveaways, don't you think?...Yes, I thought so too ;)

Every Friday we will pull a random name ~ just leave a comment sometime during the week and you're in the running!

This week?
How about some picnic goodness with some playfood all ready to go in it's own lunchbag?

Oh good, thought that might be a nice little way to start, glad you think so too ;)

Good luck and happy summering!

And just is...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Part of me really wants to love these little guys...
I mean how cool are they anyway, really.

These were found in some rotting logs we had out back. My guess is that they are wood boring beetle grubs but, I can't be sure. We have decided not to look them up and just be surprised. You know, like a holiday or birthday even.

Meanwhile, although I love the curiosity my little ones have about these guys - our 6 year old even touches them...actually picks up these 2-3 inch buggers, I am finding it hard to hide my revulsion, Yes, its a strong word but, when I almost gag when watching these things, I would say that word fits just about perfectly. Still, I say, "How cool are they!", even with a smile.

Just today I thought my waiting might be at an end and we could send them all on their merry way. We sat watching them squirm around in their rotting wood loveliness and I saw one end darken (you can almost see wings or the like inside some of them) and I excitedly thought they were hatching...or whatever it is that grubs do when they change. But no. That would have excretion. Eeewwww. Of course, I understand the need for nature's decomposers and my 8 year old and I talk about that. That is all good and well and oh so necessary but, maybe behind closed doors...or inside rotting logs.

So we wait and watch and wait some more. Eager to see what splendor will unfold (fingers crossed on a quick change). The kids' awesome wonder of nature, if only I could get my stomach to see it the same way...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Some lovely vintage...

These were rescued from an aged (1940's) children's picture book that was just too musty to read and whose binding was shot. The images were so lovely I decided to take the book home and reassign them. What I especially love about them (apart from those perfect tones of green, yellows and browns) is that these critters are all animals from our own backyard. Literally.
Frames were even thrifted also; it was a good day for revamping.

They have found a perfect home on the wood walls of the kid's bedroom...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bag it

Yesterday I had the chance to make a quick birthday gift for a special lady - and promptly my girls wanted their own.

The 1 Hour Bag sounded perfect to me (always looking for that quick fix ;)
Of course, my relationship with patterns and tutes (regardless of how fabulously they are written) being what it is...the 1 Hour Bag turned into the 3 hour bagtastic mess ;)

All ended well though and my girls have some nifty new bags and I have a gift for the birthday girl...

This bag making got me to thinking of how my girls like to carry things - given the right bag, of course. These two would drag an elephant down to the beach if it was popped into a cute tote.

So today, we are making some beach totes - one for each and they will now join the happy club of tote luggers next time we head to the water.

Now, just give me a few hours...

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Dancing to our own...

With 5 kids one can imagine the variety of personalities, temperaments and general individualism that we are confronted with on a daily basis. Then add on accommodating all that humanity in 800 square feet and some challenges are bound to arise.

In reality though, I tend to think that even if we had 1800 square feet or (imagine!) 2800 square feet...we would still be accommodating. Maybe it would even be more challenging... Would they be less accustomed to each others little idiosyncrasies and possibly less tolerant of their differences if they could just go to their own rooms and not have to deal with each other? Conflict and its resolution is such a huge part of life...I like to think we are teaching our share here - daily ;)

Of course, when one does just need to be alone they can always take solace in the outdoors with a bike ride, running off steam in the yard or just sitting quietly and listening to the birds.

On the flip side, I like to think of how much they also learn from each other by watching, listening and interacting throughout the day. How our younger ones learn much about music from their oldest brother, how our girls learn about their natural environment from their littlest big brother, how both our boys learn so much about the process of learning by watching their younger sisters. Finally, how much we all learn about living and loving each other through the good days and more importantly even the not so good ones.

While we are all dancing along to our different drumbeats.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Story telling swap...

and the degradation of a photo shoot...

Just finished up a little story telling goodness in the form of Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar. Looks like I will need to make our gang a few of these pretty soon - they loved this one.

after the silk and story bits are pulled from the chair...

last bit left...

A little reality of what goes into taking some pics with curious little hands sneaking about. This was too funny seeing that little hand sslloowwllyy reaching up onto the chair to snag a bit of story.

Hmmm, maybe she's trying to tell me something? Storytime?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June was....


Undeniably so. That one thing is for sure.

Yet, amid this ever present dampness and near constant overcast sky there were bits of sunshine of our own making...

Our little orangina who loves to smear her lovely sweet potatoes and squash into every eyelash and crevice of her sweet face:

Some exploration of our very local wild edibles:

Some sweet independence dancing as these two enjoyed getting dropped off down the street and literally danced on home:

And, of course, the salamanders were quite happy with all the dampness:

Here's to July! And admittedly, another wet day ;)

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