Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HALO Foundation

As part of our Action Tuesday posts, I wanted to sit a bit and invite you to check out an organization that combines fulfilling the basic needs of orphans with the beautiful and much needed work of art therapy....more on that here.

The HALO Foundation is currently raising funds for their orphanages in Kenya to provide, in their words, "...a safe haven from violence, starvation, and abuse...We are not just feeding these children. We are giving them a chance at a future. Our children attend good schools, have a metal box with a key that holds their few belongings, sleep in their own beds, have loving caretakers who care for them, and do art therapy projects to help them deal with their losses."

I bet everyone who reads this post has a dollar to spare, maybe $5, even $10...possibly more? Perhaps, we can put off a small indulgence we had planned and redirect it HALO's way? Trust me, I have my own vices too...

My indulgences come in the form of fabric, crazy huh? This being said, I am going to take some of that fabric and put it to good use. Hopefully by this weekend I will have a few things up for sale in my Etsy shop - 100% of the proceeds going to HALO. Anyone in? Maybe even a trading in of that latte or new shoes (that maybe you really don't need after all?) and mentally marking that cash for some kids who...goodness, may not even have shoes.

Blows the mind a bit doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I have been doubly guilty of spending money on things that later I think..."Now that could have been used better somewhere else, couldn't it?". So, how about we avoid that scenario and give a bit.

Just a brief note, I spend a fair amount of time checking out a slew of non-governmental organizations for integrity, effectiveness - the overall trustworthy factor and, as far as I can tell, without having been there on the ground myself, HALO checks out with double A+s. On that note, I have been in touch with someone who has done work with HALO and he gives a wholehearted thumbs up to this underfunded and heart driven organization. Remember, $5 US dollars may not go too far here but, in countries like Kenya and many others - it goes a much longer way in sending a child some love.

Soooo...You in?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dirty Livin'

These gals love dirt...and water...especially mixed together.

Lovin' the fall mud. No matter the season - anytime is a good time for some spontaneous, messy mud play.

Now, sometimes I wonder.."What must my neighbors think?". What, with our half painted and oh so tiny house, gaggle of children running about, home repair projects that never seem to end and, of course, my dirty, mud lovin' children in the yard.

One of which is just a babe.

Hmmm, what do they think? I am sure that some interesting classifications come up for folks who are inclined to do so. And God knows how many jokes about birth control I've heard over the years and how many sly winks I've caught out of the corner of my eye. So, yes... I may have an idea or two...

But then again, I also know that when people have talked to my husband and I, or our kids, or have witnessed our interactions with them or with each other...they've sometimes been a bit perplexed. Their classification system doesn't seem to apply. I think they try to squeeze us into one pigeonhole or another, but I think we manage to slip out of those tight spots sooner or later.

Then it totally slams me.

It. Doesn't. Matter.

Should I somehow be relieved one way or the other when we defy those social strata?

All the ideas we may have, those notions of being able to summarize someone by their parts. Such silly nonsense, really. How could any one attempt to summarize the entire existence of not just one individual but, even an entire family or group based on snippets? Still, this is often how our minds work. How we try to make sense of our environment, especially in our busy world.

Then there are the moments of hope that shine.

A simple exchange at the post office between 2 immigrants from vastly different countries and cultures, one young, one old - between them, a simple offer of a stamp so one would no longer need to wait in line. These are the snippets I choose to remember, that I try to collect. Snippets of the embracing spirit of love.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fairies aflight!

Just popping in for a bit to announce the winner of our fairy crown and she is....

Stacy from 4 Living Simply!


For next week? Hmmm, we have been so super busy that I think I will send out a little more crown love - this time a surprise! Good Luck!

Fair weekend is upon us! Here are a few snippets of our day yesterday...

Bordie collie/sheep demo:

The sliding hill:

Timber framing (we found some great demos for our 3rd grade explorations of farming and shelter building)

Sliding hill fun:

Hope the weekend is fun where you are!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Pick...

Of the season.

We took to the hills today...

for some serious, season opening apple picking. Not to mention taste testing. Was there taste testing...

This is the same orchard we visit year after year so the kids are well acquainted with the layout and its hidden treasures... like the horses and llamas, the raspberries that "secretly" grow amid the trees, the rolling hill and, of course, the bakeshop.

These guys spent no less than an hour rolling down this hill...over...and over...and over again. Laughter. Giggles. And in the end, just a few ouches and minor altercations. Not bad at all, I'd say. Just way too cute really.

Oh, and that wispy baby hair blowing in the fall wind? Just a bit of heaven.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



(We can call this Monday, right? Just for now? Tues doesn't start until tonight after the kids are in bed...really. Come back here then and you'll see. Tuesday for sure. Shhh...Til then...)

Little man and I started out baking with a bang, then along came friends ;) How can I say no to outside playtime? After all, winter is around the corner and I imagine we will have many days to cook up storms (amid the storms)...

Oh yes, and here are the fruits of our labor! Here is what a goal mixed with a little nervous energy can accomplish (ah, don't you love doc appt's?)...

Potato scallion and Harvest veggies soups::

Chocolate chip summer squash bread::

Cheesecake:: (ok, this wasn't in the CSA pick up but, we did have the fixins on hand)


Potato scallion soup and homemade rolls (grandma's recipe)

Maybe a little heavy on the baked goods side...must be that fall air ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shippin' off to...

Annie from Sensible Living!

Congratulations Annie! That Acorn crown is waiting for a sweet little head to sit atop :)

Send your address to woodspritemama@yahoo.com and I will get this right out :)

For now, until I can get that sewing room a bit
more in order ~ we have crowns ;)

Next week's giveaway? Merry meet, little fairies ~

Good luck!

Friday, September 18, 2009



Have I mentioned how totally lucky I feel that we are able to get some seriously delicious veggies from an awesome local farm? Just. So. Lucky. Seriously. Does it get much better than this? ...

As part of our 3rd year explorations we are delving into farming. This fall we'll focus on a variety of veggies and how they are grown. All of this is made that much sweeter with an upcoming event that is near and dear to many a Maine heart - the Common Ground Fair.

In the spring we will return to farming with seedlings and planting. For now, just being at the local farm is an amazing experience in itself. My guys get to play with the expert farmhands (ages 9 and 3) and poke around to see what a working farm actually looks, smells and feels like.

Every now and then they may even get to help out a bit. Good fun for sure.

Not to mention the playing...did I mention the playing?
I mean really, racing on antique trikes? Frankly, that is just about more cuteness than this mama can stand...

Tomorrow, our 9 year old and I have a challenge ~ to try to use all of the bounty of this week's CSA - in one day. Working in a ton of math, not to even mention the practical life skills of preparing your own food, it will be quite a day. Yes, whether it be muffins and breads, soups, casseroles - you name it; we will be cooking it. Some we'll freeze, some we'll share and yummiest yet - a bunch we will eat right on the spot. Yum. Bon appetite!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


How we love our Atlantic...

Getting right into those tide pools, pulling back the seaweed and seeing what's creeping, scuttling or swimming about. We're doing it while we can too before that ocean air gets a little too icy for much exploring.

I have to give props to my sweet husband, with his background in environmental and experiential education, who has helped to give our children the precious gift of connectivity and a love of seeing what's in those little pools of wonder. Still, all that fancy background is by no means needed. Just a will to see what's there. To feel the life of the water, the critters and the air around you. Breathing in that salt air and feeling the sand underfoot is experience well beyond enough.

How we love the ocean...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Packages: WIP Wednesday

For celebrating life...

I have a little problem with time. I always seem to think I have so much more of it than I actually do. Whenever I imagine a project, I have no doubt, "Sure, I can do that!".

Not. even. a. blink.

Fast forward to mid project time, "Where I am going to find the time????...". Hmmm...The trouble is, more ideas than hours in the day and the simple fact that I need to stick with just one of those ideas to its fruition before hopping onto the next.

Still, I have fun, plug away and figure, someday these will look kinda cute in a birthday package for some little sweetie somewhere. That's really what motivates me. A young heart finding a little extra speck of joy in their special day via some handmade goodness.

Ahh, until then..I present, my WIP Wednesday:
Birthday Packages
Crowns to be specific ~

Add banners, chair decorations, maybe some invites, goody bags and treats, some game ideas and viola!

I'll set a little goal...how about completing just one of these themes for next week? Maybe a little Peter Rabbit or the Rocket theme? I'll take a peek and see what is just screaming at me to be finished. Meet me back here next week and we'll have a little looksee, shall we?

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For Nest.

Have I mentioned I don't knit?

Oh, how I would love to though....just haven't made the time to teach myself. Whenever I have a snippet of crafting time I want to dive right in and get something done. Still, soon. Someday soon...

However, I do crochet! Albeit, its a very simple form of crochet, nothing too fancy but, that's o.k. I like simple. And while I feel like the last person on the planet to learn the fine art (or even a basic stitch) of knitting, this simple crochet ability has allowed me to make blankets for my babies, scarves for my loves and now some simple gifts for neighbors near and far. Sometimes simple is just right.

Sunday we took a little family drive out to Owl's Head which afforded me plenty of time to start and finish that wool scarf for Nest.

What a warmly wonderful and loving way to put useful hands to work. Just a bit of time and someone's body and soul are warmed.

Thank you Jean for such a beautiful gift for Maine's people and also for fellow crocheters and knitters alike. Our state is a little more blessed for your act of love...

Monday, September 14, 2009


This boy. I tell you.

Bless. His. Sweet. Sweet. Heart.

This is the boy, who when playing with Legos' Power Miners, is baffled that the Rock Monsters are normally depicted as the bad guys."They're only defending themselves and their resources". I know. No &%%#. Like I say, This. Boy.

Since he could talk he's been about fairness and justice. Nothing I did, he just came this way. Seems they really do come with a core of who they are...

This boy who cheered for his little sisters today as they knocked pins down during our celebratory birthday bowling outing.

This boy who still likes to be my companion. Who still holds his dad's or his mama's hand when walking down the road or across the parking lot.

This boy who after 2 hours of hard pushing and was then c-sectioned...this boy who was gray and limp ... This boy decided to stay and let me be his mama. For this, I am daily and ever after honored & blessed. Thank you baby. Thank you for being born and sharing your beautiful, bright life with us.

ps. photos courtesy of my love, N.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Or, trying my best to be.

The above is the view from what will be my new creative space once I settle in. Someday. Yes, someday soon...

In other news, I thought it might be fun to carry over a little of my new found organizational gusto to this space. It will give me an opportunity to share a little bit of quite a few things that I love ~
Inspired by Jodi, having h nature and our local community
Friday - Fieldtrip Friday, peek into designated days seems like a super swell idea - so here goes!
Monday - Mama Musings, snippets of mothering, the good, the bad and the beautiful
Tuesday - Action Tuesday, highlighting a fabulous awareness project or Tiny Space Tuesday where we'll share a little peek into how our home functions.
Wednesday ~ joining the gang over at the Fishbowl
Thursday - Take it outside - connecting with our environment and local community
Friday ~ Fieldtrip Friday ~ a peek into our homeschool journey
And Saturday? How about ship off Saturday where I post a winner for a little handmade goodness? For this week, here's a little Acorn love in the form of a crown - Good Luck!

Ah, I feel so organized already...;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

See ya summer

Hopefully sooner rather than later - fingers crossed!

While I do love a change in the seasons...winter seems to creep up so fast and stay so long. A little too long in my opinion but, then again, I do choose to live in Maine.

Still, this change? You can feel it. That fall crispness. Coldness really but, we like to call it crispness for a little romantic effect. Tonight? Downright cold. Apparently not too cold for the bats though. After dinner I took a walk down to the dock and saw, right above my head, 2 little brown bats cavorting around for their dinner against a sweet pink blue sunset sky. That scene amidst the crazy call of a loon and the sound of the lake's waves lapping against some anchored boats made me so grateful to be right where I am. Chilly air and all.

Our day today? Still cleaning out. Getting a little tired of this clearing out business but, really, it must be done. Where did all of this stuff come from anyway? Goodness, I remember moving all we had in the back of a bike trailer (ummm, maybe just a few years ago). Maybe a dozen trips and it was a done deal. If I tried that now, I would be hauling this stuff til Christmas. At least.

We're getting there though. Soon. Any day now. Really.

You know, it will be soon though. 'Cause frankly, I miss my babies. They have been keeping busy though as you can see...

Little Miss and her paint exploration:

...she obviously thought it was a taste test of sorts...

And some seriously gloopy goop. I will spare you the after photos of the deck. And their clothes. And their hair. Yikes.

Feeling brave?

Magic Muck from this
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
5-7 drops food coloring

Mix water and coloring together in bowl.
Slowly add cornstarch to water/color mixture. Do not stir!
Let the mix stand for 2-3 minutes.

Get messy and have some fun!

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