What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, June 29, 2012


My calendula plants are doing amazingly well despite the gift of clay soil I gave it this spring. I snip them every week, sometimes several times, and still, they brighten up my flowerbeds with vibrant orange and yellow.  The object is---DON'T let them go to seed!!!  So I have screens of them drying, petals in anything edible that can stand it and jars of infusing oils on my windowsill. 

And, not that this has anything to do with calendula---but is worth celebrating nonetheless....I finally *FINALLY* finished weeding, haying and thinning the carrots!  I handed the thinnings to the children who took turns nibbling them like rabbits and when I was done, I whooped!  (I can't imagine what the roofers next door were thinking...)  There is only ONE more big job in the garden before the little, daily weed pluckings and that is doing the same thing as was done to the carrots, except to the beets.  But THAT day, I will get lovely beet greens with dinner as a reward.  

Happy Friday to you all and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Whole Education


Every day at lunch, while the children eat, I read them the Bible.  Since we have a 'no talking with your mouth full' rule that we (for the most part) abide by~ this keeps me from eating my lunch while they eat theirs.  Instead, I wait until they are all resting (and it is nice and quiet with no interruptions...ahhhhhhhh....) before I eat and (being the multi-tasker that I am) one thing I enjoy doing while I am eating is watching something.  Not a "soap" girl myself (har har), I lead a much more boring life by watching things like TED speeches or various sermons/lectures on the internet.  Keeps one toe in the grown up world and all that.

I particularly liked this one today:

A favorite quote of the speech:

"Our education system has mined our minds in a way that we stripmine the earth-for a particular commodity.  And for the future, it won't service."

One constant thing in the back of my mind these days is how to do this whole "educating" thing right with my children.  After all, I can't blame the school system, or the teachers, or the principals or even the 'dreaded peers' for the failure of my child to succeed.  Any finger pointing, when it comes to homeschooling, would be turned right around on me, plucking out my own eyeballs.

 How can I change our days to be a more suitable environment for my children to grow meaning: how can I make the childrens' lives a veritable petri dish for growth?  How can I foster greatness in our home/attitudes/opportunities/experiences?  What areas do I fail in?  Where do I succeed?  And, at the end of the day, what is the goal anyway?  What do these children fundamentally need to know and how do we get there?

I think the answers have less to do with "academics" than you would think.

More on that another day... when the thoughts whirling around my head aren't swirling quite so fast.

PS.  Thanks to all who voted for me during the TOP 25 HOMESCHOOL MOM BLOG contest.  My 121 votes were piddly compared to the almost 2,000 votes of #1, but they were 121 more votes than I thought I would get! 

So, if you popped over and voted for me- thank you bunches!  And thanks to your comments, I know who SOME of you are!  Thanks!  :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Percy Pad

Whenever I go outside to try to take a picture of something down low, like say...a flower, or strawberries or this bug:

Mr. Percival hops onto my back and settles in for a snooze.

Silly kitty.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


We are officially "done" school for the year and what do the children do??? 

Play school.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The June Garden

The June garden sweeps aside the winter and spring doldrums with new and constant busy-ness and bursts the naked earth with life.  The excitement is still in the air and the work, because it is fresh and new, is usually still exhilarating.

The garden is mostly just showing off with pomp and circumstance, their showy leaves, straight stalks and bursts of little flowers but what IS beginning to produce is giving harvests of 'just enough' and the tastes are the most delicious you've tasted since you don't even remember when.  The baskets and baskets and bowls and bowls that fill your days with 'putting up' are a month or two away still but you aren't thinking about that yet.

No.  You are just thinking about how sweet that baby carrot you just thinned tasted in your mouth and how lovely the bright green lettuce looks in a tidy row.  You are just enjoying the feeling of cutting that head of broccoli for dinner tonight and savoring the rich smell on your finger from plucking a few basil leaves.

Ah, lovely June.

~the garden on paper~

~ the garden from the window~

~we are growing potatoes in hay this year and all I can say is...so far so good!~ 

~The pumpkin patch.  Pretty measley looking right now!~

~(not quite yet) elderberries!~  
~ horseradish~

Giving thanks some more....

#856...broccoli harvesting
#857...a shirtless boy who paroles the garden perimeter several times daily
#858...a garden that can not afford to be fenced in this year that wakes up every morning still intact
#859...fresh salads for lunch
#860...elderberries right under my nose
#861...potatoes needing to be re-hayed.  AGAIN!
#862...corn that actually GREW (after four years of trying!)
#863...hay mulch
#864...minced stevia in a fruit salad
#865...babies with constant chive breath
#866...a bit of rain, a bit of heat.  Just enough of each.

 holy experience

Friday, June 22, 2012

Little Rascals

We discovered this little guy in the feed bin yesterday....

...along with his three brothers.

And now, I am afraid, I have to head to the store to replace an almost brand-new bag of kitty food.

In other news, this week has been pretty much the longest week in history for me.  Matt has been half way across the globe (er, at least, country!) in CA since Sunday morning and I have been feeling it ever since....well....Sunday afternoon.  ;-)  The days were brutally hot and the nights were brutally lonely. 

He will be home about midnight, if all goes according to plan.  And he might just be greeted with a trail of candles.  (And probably a totally zonked out wife, since I haven't been sleeping pretty much all week! ha!) 

It will be good to be whole again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Makers Are We

Just some things we've been making these days.........

A welcome baby gift of snail pants (oh-how I love those snails!)

...and a leaf lay(or play)mat/blanket.  The inspiration for it was this

a puppy towel for nephew pool splashing:


and a frisky little tomato date for a friend:

Having the formal schooling done for the year now, it is amazing all the little pockets of time here and there that I find for frivolous things like making.

This is great because there are lots of reasons to make and lots of people to make things for.  Handmade gifts are the best kinds, you know.  In fact, I have begun to feel like I am cheating when I give something that isn't homemade.  A gift-giving guilt complex.  (strange.)

And I am not the only one bitten by the bug.  Seems these children take after me.  For the cousins' first birthday, Andrew made this little bunny finger puppet (which he did all sewing and everything for):


And Corynn made this pillow. 


She did the embroidery on her own, without my knowledge (which is why it is made with all-purpose thread instead of embroidery!) and then, after she showed me, I suggested she make it into a pillow, which she did with just a few glances over her shoulders from the Mama.

Unfortunately for me, these don't count toward my handmade Christmas goals. 

I still have three of those to do...in the next 10 days!  ;-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sketch Tuesday

"Something You Wear" 

Corynn (8):

Andrew (6):

Adele' (3)

Rebecca (I am so NOT good at people...)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I've been looking through the curriculum catalogs lately (DETERMINED to have a good plan in place-and supplies ordered- BEFORE the busy-ness of gardening and canning are upon me this year!) and in one of them, I found this quote.  I loved it.

Who wants equality anyway?!? 

 Speaking of inequality, my blog is in the running for Top 25 Homeschooling Blogs.  Who woulda thunk?   I won't say it is all that impressive though, since I have only four votes-and I won't lie-- two of them are my own!  :-)  If you want to vote for me, make me a bit less pathetic-- that'd be great.   (My blog is under the pending tab until tonight.)  Or, better yet, go check out the other (more worthy!) blogs.  You can vote once a day for two more weeks.  (But please, DON'T.  Seriously.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sketch Tuesday (a new intrigue)

One thing (for us) that is often pushed aside during the school year (and tragically so) is Art.  We do projects throughout the year, but not nearly as often as I would like.  The children draw all the time, but always what is in their head and not something that would expand their mind a bit through interpretation.

So when I saw on this blog that she participates in a Sketch Tuesday, I thought it would be a perfect summer project for us!  Unfortunately, the REAL Sketch Tuesday is on hiatus until July 3rd, but this gal offered up a few themes of her own and I am playing along.  If nothing else, it will give us a bit of practice before the real Sketch Tuesday begins again.

And because good things become GREAT with just the teeniest bit of effort...I bought small sketch books for the children!  The only rule is the sketch book is ONLY for Sketch Tuesday drawings (otherwise, they would fill it in a day!)  That sketchbook-of-their-very-own made the children CRAZY excited to start, let me tell you!

And because I want to (and because it is good for me to AND because when I sit with them and do art, they take more time with their own art), I will be participating too.  (Don't LAUGH.)

Our first weeks' theme was "Something with Fur On"

 by Adele' (3)

by Andrew (6)  
(We happened to see a fox that day!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Harvests

 The garden is all in and now comes the fun part~ harvesting! 

Two cakes I made for a recent baby shower wouldn't have been quite so nice without a yard full of treasures:

From the herb and flower garden~ calendula flowers to garnish a most-amazing, most delicious gluten-free chocolate cake. 

Oh MY.  It is like chocolate cheesecake, without the high fat!  (and uses up eggs!  score!)  I got the recipe here but I did add 3/4 cup sugar to it.  You MUST try it. 

Strawberries from the strawberry patch~

 We aren't getting many berries, but any are wonderful news to us!  So glad most of the transplants survived the move last fall.  Next year, Lord willing, we will have a bumper crop!  The cake inspiration, by the way, comes from this gal and her gorgeous cake

And from the vegetable garden~ our first harvest was.......BASIL!  Ahhh-fresh basil, one of the most wonderful smells and tastes in the world!

We used it for this:

What are you harvesting these days???

Monday, June 11, 2012


It was his first ever ear of corn... 

...and he liked it.

As for her, it was NOT her first taste of corn on the cob.  But you see, the sun was just so and her wisps and hair poofs were glowing....and I just couldn't resist.


As you can see, I *did* start making the necessary blog changes.  Man, is that a JOB!  I am not completely done (though I wish I were) but I do think it will be easier for you for now.  There are labels over in the sidebar that you can search under...unfortunately, since I never labelled anything there are hardly any posts under those categories.


I'll get to it.  But not tonight.  Tonight I have a date with a lake and a picnic table. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

On a Dewy Morning

What is one to do on a dewy morning?

Why, this:


In other news:
I am going to finally do it, I think.

After months of procrastination, I think I am going to finally change the template of my blog so that (wonder of wonders!) the archives work, you can view more than just one page, and you can search and find posts with much more ease.  I have baulked at this because with these wonderful changes, I must leave behind my most beautiful flowers and lady with babies, and scroll quote and just everything that makes my blog my 'happy place'.

I'll be working on it this weekend, hopefully, so if you come back and check in over the weekend-you might see a bit of stirred up dust while I tweak and clean up the place.  I don't look forward to a boring, plain-Jane blog look (that is all my computer talent-or lack thereof-will afford me) but I am going to do it anyway.

 For YOU, people, because I love ya.