saturday was warm

We tried adventure.

Annie was the only kid who wanted to adventure with me. Her idea of adventure and my idea of adventure don’t always overlap, though. She ended up on an adventure with DadDad. I took pictures of plants, largely underwhelmed with my results. I’ve been on the lookout for Project Island (and thinking about business ventures in terms of sea travel – we’ve been reading about 15th-16th Century explorers for school).

Because I’m on the lookout for Project Island, I’ve gotten myself stuck in a rut. Trying to leave room to crop or to add text dumped me over into the rut, and inspiration hasn’t struck to give me something to climb out with.

Oh well.

I did end up on an Actual Adventure.

There’s a caved-in-ish store at the corner of the property. I’ve walked to it once (and that was within the past few months, chasing the boys), but had not really ducked in and looked around. Boys, Brennan, Appy, and I ended up in the store on Saturday – I’m not sure if the motive was more “testing the limits” or “checking the fences.” I was glad I had followed, though. Along the back wall are wooden shelves, caught in a sort of slow-motion fall from exposure to the weather. There are songbooks in one corner.

I think I took “one more shot, goose girl!” about ten times. Brennan had stayed with me but was finished with my adventure long before I was. She refused my request for a(nother) in-the-woods photo and trooped fearlessly back up the hill.

So I took a picture of her trooping.

no school this week

I have big plans for this week. It’s an off-week for school. I’m going to do some sitting on the couch and reading and playing. And then we’re going to do some fun projects. And be glad it’s not cold outside. Well, one day it will be cold. But other than that… 

I’m so thankful for this week. 

I’m thankful today. It’s the anniversary of a lot lot lot of things, but one event sticks out. 

It’s Grandma Artie Mae’s birthday. I think she was born in 1917, but then I think she was born in 1918. And then I think I may be way off. Instead of asking or looking for the information, I’ve been tracing back over the lines of what I know. Then I remembered that we were the same age when our first child was born. That puts her birthday in 1917. 

So I was right. 

Unless I am very wrong. 


helena the owl

So. I made an owl for Annie for Christmas.



I, um, cheated.

I looked at a felt puppet tutorial and decided there was no freaking way I could make such tidy and adorable puppets. But I couldn’t get it off my mind!

So I started looking at types of felt. After six (seven?) months of “I’m just not going to…” I bought two rolls of thick felt and grabbed a few pieces of craft felt and some embroidery floss that didn’t match ANY of the felt (contrast!).

I looked at a few more owl toy pictures, then I freehandedly chopped up the felt. And I do mean chopped.


And then I started stitching. I can’t actually blanket stitch so I cheated there, too. HA!









She took about 5 hours of actual work, spread across three days. Then I had to wait a whole day to see if Annie even liked her. BUT SHE WAS SO PLEASED. She squeezed her and used her as a pillow and scooted around with her… whew. Winning!


giving thanks

I knew Thanksgiving would be hard. We’ve passed around a virus or series of viruses, so Jonathan stayed home with the middle two while I brought Ann and Quinn to visit my family. I didn’t get any pictures AT ALL, but that’s just how it goes when you try to be more deliberate about spending time together.

I did get pictures Wednesday. Wednesday… it started out okay. We had couch cuddles and AndiHebbert played with us before she had to drive back home.

But then I was trying to clean house and pack and make sure Brennan and Aiden felt loved and do some school work with Quinn… I wanted to cook a few things or make a project and suddenly it was almost 3pm and stuff like this was happening while I tried to finish my lunch:
I had completely lost control of my day and I could tell that my attitude was heading toward ugly. So we cleaned up the dishes and dressed warmly and headed outside for a nature walk.








There were rain clouds but the sunlight was gorgeous. Leaves were glowing. It was a big hug from God. I was able to feel genuinely and lovingly thankful for Jonathan and our wild kids and our home and the life that we share. There was a cascade – a domino effect – of gratitude. I was so thankful for so many things I don’t know how to mention them all.

It was good.

Two months


It’s been two months since Granny died. I still feel insane. I still feel like I’ve misunderstood or maybe it was just a horrible nightmare or it can’t be possible.


I’ve thought a lot about what I believe about death. I don’t really want to get into talking about all of that any time soon, but… I don’t even know how to explain it. Most of my ideas are less vague now. But they’re still complicated.


Is the 15th of every month for the rest of my life going to feel this way? This out-of-control, lost, confused way?


kids’ gallery wall

I’ve always wanted to be that person who is able to pull together gallery wall ideas, buy the frames, insert art into frames, put framed art on the wall in prearranged pattern, and enjoy.

It’s possible that from the way I listed all those steps, you’re already figuring that somewhere in this process I GET LOST. You would be correct. If I have an idea, I balk at the price of frames. I can’t shop at the thrift store without taking more Benadryl than I can take while I’m nursing a baby, and I don’t have the mental capacity to find what I want while I’m pregnant, so the past three years (and a couple of months) have been a flat bust in the find-frames-cheap department. Which is fine. Because I can’t leave the furniture in place for long enough to make a wall gallery work, anyway.

So. Failure. And that’s fine. Because it’s pushed me to be resourceful and to gracefully and with dignity be FINE (no, really) with alternatives that fit our season of life. It’s sort of like how I stopped buying lamps I like. Because. *sob* Children are too rough on lamps to have lamps you like that will hurt your heart if the lamps are broken.

Gallery wall.

Kids’ room gallery wall.


I designed these signs to print on watercolor paper, and there’s a set up in the living room that I decorated. When I did them, nokids wanted to be involved. But later, they wanted to do the signs, too, confound it. So I printed these on normal printer paper (not even cardstock, which would have been smarter), and they sat in my bedroom for a few weeks.

Last night, the kids were being wild and I needed to know they weren’t hiding somewhere doing something destructive, so I pulled out the signs and my washi tape and some rubber stamps and ink. When I asked about other supplies, everyone expressed disdain for anything beyond stamps and ink. We stuck with those.


And after the initial “Oh, not like that…” I just let them do it. I wanted the washi tape to match – the prints and the room. Theeeeeeeyyyyyy did not care, and this is what they picked.


We added a painting Aiden did a few months ago and a couple of photo prints, and I was anxious.


Then Quinn wandered into the bedroom and yelled, “It’s so good! Thank you!” and Aiden agreed that it was wonderful and Brennan was all, “Thank you! Thank you! I want to reach it my picture!” They all had to tell Jonathan what everything is (using rather a lot of pleasant adjectives).

I’m glad I helped them do this.