Showing posts from February, 2014

Raising Little Woodsmen

The children in our family have grown up playing in the woods.

They have spent hours building tree forts, tearing them down and building new ones.   They have bounded through the trees and out of sight to play since they could toddle.   They are very comfortable in the woods, and we think nothing of it.   ...until someone says something out of astonishment at what the children are up to.   
  Come free time in the afternoon, they head off down the trail and out of sight.   After a while a thin column of smoke is seen rising out in the woods  and I know the general whereabouts of our little woodsmen.  They have built a fire near where they are playing to keep them warm.   They probably have a mess kit by which they are sipping some hot broth or tea.   The play scenario is likely that they are stranded, someone is wounded and needs to be cared for,  a litter made, an emergency shelter built, and the patient tended to.
Daddy has seen to it that they know all the woodsmen basics:       …

Of Colds and Lego Genius

While it is fairly blizzarding outside,
 we are fevering inside. Tis the season to share the flu and colds with one another,  as we have done thoroughly this week.   First one, then to another, and so on, until the whole house is ringing  in a symphony of 7 people coughing non stop.
This week has been full of reading and napping amid a pile of pillows and stacks of blankets,  of continually sipping tea to soothe the throat,  and the less romantic: teaching little ones to blow their nose,  a humorous and inefficient process, to say the least.
When feeling pathetic, everyone wants to be held and snuggled,  which means our days have looked like this:

Mama and the littles have been the last to fall to this undesirable virus,  which means that the older boys, who became ill first, are beginning to feel better.   They have been busy in their room doing what they do best:   creating  lego  structures, vehicles,  and all sorts of science fiction-ish things imaginable.   Their talent at build…

New Ideas From New Mexico

Anna just sent me the rest of the pictures we took when I was visiting her in New Mexico,  and I just had to share them,  so many of them were especially
for you. So many creative and beautiful ideas-

this first one is Anna's friend Kristin's idea,
on her dining room wall she has made a "Gratitude Tree"  for her family.
 They add leaves that have what they are thankful for written on them.
 Love this!

Anna has another friend who actually owns more books than I do.
(a rare find)
Here were three that really piqued my attention, and are now on my wish list:

Anna took me out to lunch several times.

One day we met up with some of her friends at this quaint place called "The Lunch Box."
  They have some very innovative decorating ideas-

I really do think I will do this tree thing in the boys room, it was pretty awesome.
But no bicycles on the wall for me,
that would surely end up with someone in the hospital.

Happy Valentines Day to each of you!


Betsy Knits

I need to learn to knit.   I have a rapidly growing love of all things hand knit,  especially socks.   I tried to convince my daughter to learn to knit, then she could knit socks for me,  but that hasn't worked so far.  (chuckling)  I guess I am just going to have to buckle down and get it figured out. 
 In the meantime, we were blessed by a sweet lady who made socks for us. 

 I had the opportunity to meet this industrious woman, Betsy,  whom has become a great inspiration to me, and I am sure, to you too after you read this.
 Betsy was in the process of knitting 160 pairs of mittens and hats  for the under-privileged children of a local grade school!!!   Not only that, but she knit hundreds of hats that she sent to Japan after the devastating earthquake that wiped out complete villages, including the one her son was teaching in.  (He survived)
Betsy lovingly knits and knits, then gives all that knitting away.   Her generosity is exemplary,  her industry enormous,  and her spirit…

Breakfast at the Log Cabin

It has been snowing since I arrived home from Anna's.
We are glad for the snow pack, which means a green summer.
The children are loving hours of sledding and making of snow forts each afternoon.
Meanwhile inside, I am planning yummy things to eat,
a favorite pastime of mine.

My thoughtful daughter Anna bought me the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook. 

 If you love your cast iron like I do,  ya'all need this book. 
So far, we have tried three recipes, and they have all been OUTSTANDING.   This morning, I made the Breakfast Fritata for the family.   Anna had made this for me when I was visiting her.   I knew my family would love it as much as I did, and sure enough, Jim said, "MMM can we have this EVERYDAY for breakfast?!"

Sausage, spinach (they didn't even notice or fuss), eggs, milk, feta, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Very simple.   The ingredients are common for us, so I had them all on hand.   Little cleanup since it is a one dish meal, love that,  and all the c…

Promoting Sibling Kindness with a Mailbox

Honestly, I have not had the greatest success in encouraging my children to be best friends;  even though "Be kind and loving to each other" is without a doubt the most quoted phrase  of any in our house.  I am, therefore, always on the lookout for new ways to promote loving kindness within the family.   I do have a new idea,  and I am excited about it.   I am not sure what, if any, the results may be, but we are going to try it. Today is the first day of February, a good day to begin,  as my desire is to display love to one another in a variety of ways throughout the month,  not just on Valentines day.   The big idea is a Lovingkindess Mailbox. It all started when I was looking up fun stuff to make with cardboard on Pinterest.   There I saw a cardboard mailbox, and bam!  The whole idea struck me.
Yesterday, the younger children made us a mailbox.   I wrapped it in paper to help improve the looks.   (chuckle) Next to the mailbox is a stack of 3 x 5 cards and a bunch of Vale…