Thursday, April 9, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

I'm joining up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for some {p, h, f, r} fun. 

I have been on a making spree.


Pretty is some mirrors I picked up at an auction for next to nothing (think less than 10 dollars) and decorated. The frames were destroyed, so I milk painted them, decoupaged with some old encyclopedias, decoupaged with some pretty napkins and I like them well enough. 

The pink color base is Miss Mustard Seed's Apron Strings with the napkin overlay.

This color base is Luckett's Green and Kitchen Scale with the napkin overlay.  All of that was put on  pages of an old encyclopedia so there's a lot of pattern and texture on this one. 


I have had this fabric for YEARS. Stash, stash, baby. It's Summertime Chintz which was put out in the 90's by the Daisy Kingdom fabric line. Remember those days? I bought up TONS of this chintz, and my girls have so many dresses, skirts and jumpers in them that were handed down from their big sister. It is some of our favorite fabric, and the drape on it is just beautiful. I saved this piece because I just couldn't bear to part with it. I had no idea what to use it for until I found the handles in JoAnn Fabrics. When I came upon them I knew exactly what I was going to do--make myself a knitting project bag. 

It's not small, it's about 20 square inches. 

I had to line it with this sunny yellow calico. 


When you have older children who have jobs and can make their own purchases, it kicks April Fool's Day up a notch. 

How can you not laugh? 

She GLUED them all on. It made for a very fun morning. They were even on the coffee maker and the eggs! 


This is the Easter Dress that Wasn't.  
Well, actually, it got dyed (blues) and passed to her twin sister. 
Why? See that buckle at the waist? You don't want that. That is Not Good. That is what happens when you have a kid with a size 0 top, and a size 2 bottom, and you don't grade out the skirt to the right proportions. 

Lesson learned. I made THREE of these dresses that week. One that Didn't Fit, and two that did. 

Go share your contentment with Like Mother, Like Daughter's {pretty, happy, funny, real}.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Yes, snow today. Crazy. 

This year I started spring cleaning very early in Lent, and let me tell you, I have been enjoying it. I'm not rushed. Well now I am a bit because we're in the crunch zone, but I have already gotten my Biggest Chores done. Now it's just finishing up. Ahhh, not rushing. I love that.  I was able to make my girls Easter dresses, and do some Big Projects. All while not rushing.

As I was researching how to tackle one project, I stumbled upon some great products like furniture polish. It sounds like such a old thing, and it is, but wow, how it works so much better than anything I've ever used! I picked up Miss Mustard's Furniture Wax and a brush and went to town.

Look at that shine. 

This kitchen window sill was the only place on this snowy day that I could get a good shot of the glow on this wood after using the wax. My house was built in 1880, it's been a long time since that wood has been that glowy. I bought it for a few pieces of furniture and it worked so well I just kept going. I attacked the wainscoting in my kitchen, and in my bathroom. I waxed the hutch in my pantry, my hearths, and just about anything that I didn't have plans to paint.

My girls love helping with Spring Cleaning. My sons? Not so much. But, I have found the trick for getting them to help. I give them the jobs that I would ask my husband to do. They like the challenge and, I've found that they rise to it.

So today, after I had heard enough about boredom, I sent my youngest son who is 12 outside with a bucket and a telescoping squeegee and told him to wash the windows. He ended up getting the ladder and going around the whole first story, and he did an amazing job.

That dog loves that boy. That is her boy. 

He not only did all of the windows on the outside, he did them on the inside. And then he fixed a chair for me. He is trying to get his father to ok a window washing business. He figures he'll cook and wash windows. I think he's off to a great start to both.

That is this week's list. A lot of it is done, and even extra thanks to young men who like to wash windows.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lent, Spring, and Renewal

We're starting to Spring Forward. 

I hate Daylight Savings and what it does to our internal schedule, but I love what it means. That the days are now longer, the garden seeds have been ordered, and soon it will be Easter. Thank God. 

My seeds have sprouted, the ice is melting away, we're almost half way though lent--and oh what a Lent it's been. Full, and trying. Graces, and purging. 

It's one of those years that I'm glad I didn't take on some huge Big Lent. This year is the year of my Little Lent.  It's been a big Lent in all other ways, and God is grace-- He knew what was in store and knew I couldn't handle more. 

Some times it's all I can do to walk in a wholly conscious way.  Just one foot in front of the other, relying on faith that it will all work out. That there is a plan.  Walking wholly conscious. That is my Lent. It's small, and with what's going on in my life, it's huge.  

It's learning, serving, praying, and trusting. 

Trusting that under all of this snow, stillness, and cold that the sap is rising. That the March winds are coming to melt the ice and show the growth that has been quiet and still all along. 

That even though I can't see it, He has a plan that He will reveal in His time.  He writes straight with crooked lines as long as we allow Him to. 

It's not my job to know,  it's my job to pray and walk mindfully through my day so that I can see where God is answering me. I'm always telling my CCD kids that we need to learn to listen. The roar is loud, and listening while it's roaring is hard. But Spring is coming. 

I made a chicken cacciatore tonight for dinner. 10k garlic cloves, San Marzano tomatoes, the last of the frozen basil from the garden. 
I realized that if the weatherman is right, we are working out of the soups and stews part of the year, and into the fresh peas and lettuces part of the year.  
The most glorious part of the garden, after sharing the bounty of it, is the cooking that comes with it. Going out into it and picking dinner, some lettuces, adding a fresh dressing, some homemade bread and partaking. Leaving everything heavy behind. 
I love Lent because it's a deep season that we need to put winter away. Like winter, there's so much going on under the cover of snow, but there is always spring with new growth. Sprouts and shoots, budding branches, lettuces, and dripping water. Lent is hard, but Spring is coming. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello, 2015

I miss blogging for myself.

I miss marking our days here.

I miss being fully me. I'm Catholic. I love talking about things of faith and life, and although I love my other endeavors, I still need my own little corner.

So I won't be blogging a lot, I am sure, and I'm even more sure it won't be all on a schedule, but it will be.

Some catch -up:

Lots of football. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. As much as WE did. We all went to the games and cheered so loudly. I would sit and knit while they practiced and warmed up. Coffee came in a giant green thermos. As it got colder, it was cocoa and coffee, mittens and blankets and hats. What a great time. So American.

 Some amazing Halloween masks. 

And some talented pumpkin carvers. 

The warmest mittens I've ever made. Here's the link. The only thing I would do differently is make the thumb on the pattern a little longer. Easy Peasy. 

 My daughter got engaged and we are Planning A Wedding. Such a different time of life to look at one getting married and one turning 9. Holding on tight and letting go. 

Advent waiting. 

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

So many pictures and stuff to share, but before that, I have to ...

get the kid's homeschooling schedules down.

This year I have a 3rd grader, a 6th grader, 2 seventh graders, and a 9th grader.

Someone hold me. At least send me wine.

So, for the 2014-2015 school year...

3rd grade

     Charlotte's Web
     The Moffats
     Farmer Boy

D'Aulaires Greek Myths

Latin: Prima Latina

Spelling will be finishing up Rod and Staff 2. My kids learn to read VERY SLOWLY. Article on that coming up at Sandbox.

Primary Language Lessons

Math is Math U See Beta and Gamma

Science is Memoria Press Astronomy
                 Nature Study

History is Grombacher's A Little History of the World. 

Baltimore Catechism

6th Grade

     Anne of Green Gables
     The Bronze Bow
     The Trojan War
Language Arts
     2nd half of Intermediate Language Lessons
     Our Mother Tongue
     Memoria Press Poetry and Short Stories American Literature

     Latin for Children

     Memoria Press Astronomy/constellations
     Nature Study
     Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

     From Sea to Shining Sea (Catholic Textbook Project)

    Math U See Zeta

Baltimore Catechism

Chorus, Also sax in performing band

7th Grade

Humane Letters

History spine Kingfisher's Red to outline
Memoria Press,  Famous Men of the Middle Ages

     Sir Gawain
     Idylls of the King
     Connecticut Yankee
     History of the English Church 
     Eve of St Agnes
     Magna Charta
     Richard 2
     I Henry IV
     St. Luke
     A Man for All Seasons

Poetry by memory:
     Tennyson, "And Slowly Answered Arthur from the Barge"
     Poe, "el Dorado"
     Keats, "La Belle Dam Sans Merci"
     Shakes, "Let's talk of worms and epitaphs"

Out of Class reading Lord of the Rings

Grammar/Writing: Warriner's 1st Course

Latin: Latin for Children

Math: Teaching Textbook Alg 1a (I split Alg 1 into 2 years for 7/8th grades)

Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with Physical Science (8th grade text that I might split up into 2 years if it's all too much)
              Nature Study
              Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Chorus, and I'm trying to talk them back into band.

Religion is Faith and Life 7

9th Grade

Humane Letters
   History Spine: D. Mills Book of the Ancient Greeks
                                          Book of the Ancient Romans
                                          The Great Courses Western Civ with Professor Noble
     JW Johnson From God's Trombones
     1&2 Samuel
     The Destruction of Sennacherib  
     Nash, Very Like a Whale
     Mythic Prototypes of Egypt, Akkadian, Hebraic, Greek*
     Excerpts of Hippocrates
     Euclid, Elements of Geometry
     Plato, Apology
     Aristophanes, The Clouds
    Plato, Meno
    Mac Leish J.B.

To Memorize:
    Psalms; 8, 19, 23, 137
   Thucydides, "Fix your eyes upon the greatness of Athens"

Lost Tools of Writing Year 1
Warriner's 3rd Course

Latin: Henle Year 2

Math: Serge Lang's Geometry

Science: Margulis, 5 Kingdoms (biology-stick)
              Cobb, The Joy of Chemistry (chemistry-carrot)
              Dissection of worm, frog, fetal pig, and other fun stuff I want to do

Religion is Fr. Barron's Catholicism.

Marching Band, Jazz Band, Performing Band, Chorus, Madrigals (honors chorus) at the local high school

Art for all of them is a hodge podge of Drawing with Children, Nature Study, and projects I love. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

that's just how it happens

It's never a flash bang, fireworks, big and overwhelming. It's more like, "What just happened?" We started off with a dog we loved who passed, then bought another, and then we adopted one and bred her... and we want to do this more.

Kids are growing, maturing, starting new parts of their lives. All of this requires changes. Good things growing around here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real}


Took the kids on a hike to Butter Milk Falls. 

Back when I was about 8, and this was someplace only people with 4x drives went, my parents took me. There were no stairs to walk up, you hiked up the slate. 

So I was up on the top, hopping around like the goat I thought I was...and I fell. And started sliding down, and down. My father jumped after me, slid down himself, and caught a tree to stop us. 

Thankfully my kids didn't recreate that part of the story. 


Back there, past the falls, in the middle of Nowhere, there is the Walpack Inn. It's like a stone lodge, and they are famous for their bread. Having lived here my whole life, I know that if you are driving by on a Thursday, you can go through the kitchen door and buy a loaf of bread. This one was still warm and smelling like molasses.  It's a beautiful loaf, with such gorgeous gluten development, it's a must have. They cut it into big slabs and serve it as a appetizer. 


I've got Celiac and can't eat it. 


You can take the kids out of country, but you can't take the country out of the kids. 

Join Like Mother, Like Daughter and share your contentment. 

round button chicken