Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The photo above really has nothing to do with life at the moment.  This is a picture however of my Bess and one of her triplets back in 2005.  We haven't had sheep since late 2005.  I miss them.  Terribly.  I long for them.  My poor husband does not.  Right now, and every year about this time, I begin to think about the sheep.  Their warm wool.  It's the time of the year to think about knitting sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and wool socks.  One day we will have sheep again. 
The last two weeks have been a bit rough around these parts.  Last week I was drained emotionally.  Just wiping the table brought on tears.  Towards the end of last week the little ones came down with colds.  I became a bit proud over the fact that I hadn't gotten a cold the last few times they've had them.  Well, pride goeth before a fall.  Sunday morning I awoke to a very sore throat.  By Sunday afternoon I was horribly congested and it just seemed to get worse on Monday and Tuesday.  Today is much better.  Now we're looking forward to a visit from a dear one and this Momma is looking forward to getting back on track with school.  We need structure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rethinking Math

I need to rethink math and my approach with my littlest.  Her brother gets numbers very easily.  It's how his brain works.  He "gets" letters and reads well however he dislikes writing them nicely.  The little one however just goes blank with numbers.  Letters...she's all over them.  Numbers...nope.  She seems to understand patterns/sequence with objects.  Put a number on a piece of paper and she looks/feels lost.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MFW Highlights week 3

While it is week 3 for MFW highlights, it is only our 2nd week participating.  This week completely did not go as scheduled.  We're perfectly okay with it too.  Life is what it is.  My Dad passed away and as a family we spent time together in the woods near the base of Mt. Rainier.  We managed 2 days of "structured" schooling.  The rest of our time was spent hiking and exploring.  Thoroughly taking in all of God's wonders.  While I have no pictures of our "structured" schooling, I do have many pictures of us just being and exploring the natural world.  We nearly caught a Northern Alligator lizard, now have 3 woolly bears taking up residence on the dining table, captured frogs near Reflection Lake, caught a Western Toad at the river where we soaked in the Cascade Mountains, had a large boring beetle climb a leg, nearly caught a garter snake, drank the colors of alpine and sub-alpine meadows, was up close and personal with marmots, and took in both the north and south side of Mt. Rainier. 

Head on over and visit 2 ladybugs and a lizard to MFW Highlights.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


My Dad passed away earlier this week.  It was expected.  My husband, my children and I have spent the week together as a family in  the woods exploring, hiking, and playing in the river.  At the moment all I want is for us to be together.  I want to hold each one of them close to me.  They are my everything.  They are my blessings from God and I long that they know how very loved they are.  I long for them to know that I love them unconditionally. 
This week my children have taken to calling me Momma Bear and in turn I respond to them, "Yes my cub?".  I pray that we always know this intimacy. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week in review

We're back in the groove.  This week was our first full week of school and what a grand week it was.  Truthfully Monday wasn't the best despite a great start last week.  A Momma who didn't keep order in the morning mixed with a little girl who didn't want breakfast cooked up to a very frustrating time.  Tuesday was much better.  I am blessed to have little ones who love to learn.  Little ones who love to be at home with their Momma.  
Jonathan blossomed under the guidance of MFW k program.  I am so proud of my guy.  He has an insatiable appetite for knowledge and at times it's difficult for me to keep up with his hunger.
 We began to work on animal patterns this week.  Some of the creatures have been simple for the children (and their Momma) to master while others have proven to take a bit of time to figure out.  While they...ahem..."play" (wink wink) with the pattern blocks I read to them.  We've started the Little House series.  I adore that they love stories and being read too.  That has not always been the case.  Both of the kids didn't seem to like being read to until roughly 3.  At that point I never could seem to read enough.  I treasure having them at home and being able to curl up in the rocking chair or on the couch and reading.  And as if that isn't delicious enough, where else can a young Miss attend school in a mask that her Gee-Gee and Pop-Pop brought back from Italy?
Nature study is nothing new to our household.  I have, at times, put aside other studies in order to dive into a subject in nature that holds the kids' interest in it's grip.  What is new however is our own nature notebook.  The kids have been looking forward to this.  We have a drawer that is our "special art drawer".  It contains pencils and color pencils that are exclusively for our notebooks.  Wednesday morning we were outside by 7:45am with excitement bubbling over.  This week we've been discussing things close to the ground.  Slugs and snails seem to be what the kids are most interested in.  We have had a worm habitat and recently an ant farm. I can now say that this Momma now knows more about slugs and worms than I ever thought I'd want to know.  Frankly, I no longer see them as simply icky, slimy creatures.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still put ground eggshell and diatemacious earth out to prevent them from eating the greens in our garden.
This weekend we are headed to the mountains for camping.  I plan on sneaking our nature notebooks into our gear and know that we will most definitely have a wonderful time looking at all of the wonderful things that are close to the ground.

linked to homeschooling highlights in MFW at:
 Discovering Their Gifts

Currently Crafting...

Proverbs 31:13
She obtains wool and flax, and she is pleased to work with her hands.

A quilt for a precious boy due in mere weeks
and a new shawlette.  The desire to knit a shawl for Autumn
and winter has now taken hold.  I believe my little Miss may like one.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New school space

School officially began last week in our house.  I really dislike the way it sounds; "school officially began...".  We school all the time however during our "off" time we are more relaxed.  For Kindergarten we used My Father's World and I couldn't have been happier with it.  Truly it was gentle, fun, and engaging.  Our son who struggled with "structured" learning blossomed over the last year with MFW.  Jeff and I decided (well, he generally leaves it to me) to stay with the curriculum again this year.  I am excited about everything we  have planned over the next 10 months. 

Speaking of excitement! The kids and I have a newly dedicated school area. Our house is small by American standards.  Very small.  When we visited a friend's house which was over 2000 sq ft Emma was amazed at the size and declared it a mansion.  Our home is a three bedroom and while the kids are boy/girl, they have always been together.  They are not yet ready to separate.  We had a fun area dedicated to all of our school and craft goodies in the living room but our craft/school/book collection is growing.  The 3rd bedroom has thus been dubbed the "school room".  I'll leave you with pictures of our school area.  
Excuse the mess behind the guitar.  It is all of my sewing stuff that will soon have a new home about the sewing machine which was moved to our bedroom in order to make this schooling area possible.  The rocking chairs have both been kept warm.  They are our quiet areas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Daybook Entry August 25

Outside my window - It is a beautiful, sunny day. Warmth and sunshine have been hard to come by here in Western WA this year
What we're learning - We are starting out the school year learning about scrolls, reviewing our letters and numbers, making scrolls and clay pots, and learning about things close to the ground such as dirt, ants, worms, etc.
I am thankful for - The ability to keep and teach my children here at home. I am thankful for a husband who has always supported this endeavour.
From the kitchen - chicken
I am wearing - still wearing what I exercised in. Time to shower. School starts in 52 minutes. ;-)
I am reading - Honey For a Child's Heart, Drawing with Children, and random things here and there
I am praying - For a blessed school year with the kiddos. I pray for a patient and quiet spirit.
I am creating - I am currently finishing up a couple projects for a little boy who is set to make his debut into this world in September. Also finishing up a shawlette (first ever and really like it!) and needing to finish a sock.
I am hearing - The kids pretending to be pirates and then the switch to Phantom of the Opera songs being hummed. I also hear Clementine (lovebird) talking to herself.
On my mind - my husband
One of my favorite things - The creativity a garden evokes in children. Yesterday they decided to mash watermelon to turn it into "juice" and added mint leaves to it. To them, it was wonderful. To me...well...I wasn't sipping. :-)
A few plans for the rest of the week - laying low today and tomorrow. We need to begin planting the fall crops. On Saturday we'll head north to visit a girlfriend who is expecting the "little boy set to make his debut" soon

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy moment

Both of my kids read short stories today for the first time. I know that I'm not the only Mom who is brought to tears when her child reads for themselves. I think as a homeschooling Mom however, I may get a wee bit more emotional. Deciding to teach the children at home is not a decision made lightly. So often we're left wondering if we've made a difference, if our child(ren) is learning. We question ourselves. For today, for this brief moment, I'm letting out a big sigh. In that sigh you will find joy, contentment, and pride. At the end of the sigh you might catch a "what next" but probably not. Life is good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Green

Freshly planted Walla Walla onions

Lemon Balm

Grape hyacinth

Celery green

Peach bud about to blossom

I LOVE pink against green

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Signs of Spring

Daffs have a way of cheering up even the greyest of grey days.

Garlic Hydrangea leaves are beginning to uncurl after a long rest. Chicks!!!! Oh how we love the little chirp chirp in our home.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snow Days

We finally managed some snow. Shimmering powder. Being born and raised in WA I am used to the icky wet stuff. While it lends itself nicely for the making of jolly snowmen, it's plain ole' wet. The 6" we had last week was like powdered sugar. Ruby Mae was the only hen brave enough to "wet her feet" so to speak. The rest of the hens refused to leave the chicken coop...that is until a path was cleared for them with a snow shovel. The things some people do for their animals. ;-)

Speaking of animals. I have no idea how many times I walked past this fleece and never noticed the dog. He knew where to go to find warmth.

Despite freezing temps, snow, and now rain, I have been spending time pounding out garden details. This is the first year that I'm attempting to keep records of our vegetable gardens. Generally I plant with only the awareness of x shouldn't go next to y because it will cast too much shade. This year, gasp, the garden beds are actually drawn out. Seriously! Once planting time begins, I'll be able to go out to different beds (hopefully 10 in all) and plant. I decided that for maximum yield, it was high time that I keep records, amend the soil according to what has grown in particular areas, ensure that I don't replant something in a place where it was grown the season before and monitor the amount of sun and average temp of each bed. Speaking of gardening, I do believe it's time to get my broccoli seeds planted and hope that I'll have many transplants in the next 4-6 weeks.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Girlies Weekend

This was my Bess with one of the triplets she bore that year.
Little Miss and I headed south Friday evening as soon as the Mister was home from work. Just me and my girl. The excitement of an evening with her (and her excitement of a hotel stay) and a morning shearing sheep filled us with glee. Farm Girl was very clear that she wanted to play Sorry on the hotel bed when we got in. Saturday morning she and I headed to the farm to watch the shearing. Being me, I left the camera in the truck. While the shearer was hired, I was all too happy to help keep track of tag numbers and climb fences to grab sheep and keep them where they were supposed to be. I proudly walked into Safeway with sheep crud, lanolin, and dirt on my pants. Being at the farm was inspiring and convicting. Watching Farm Girl do what she could on the sheep farm and witnessing her immediate help with chores was more than I had thought would happen and yet at the same time is exactly what I had hoped would happen. When we had begun or journey towards home, I asked her if a farm was still what she wanted. Her answer was a resounding "yes" and she specifically wants a sheep farm. She could do it. If ever there was a soul to join me on my quest for sheep, she's it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today was beautiful. No, not the kind of beautiful that allows for gardens like the picture above. It was the kind of beautiful that allows one to remember that winter is not forever. The kind of day that allows a body to get outside and begin to prep for the coming spring and summer. The kind of day that fosters dreams and aspirations. Big dreams are being dreamed up right here in Plum House (so dubbed by Farmgirl). Plans of dinner on the back patio graced with the heady scent of honeysuckle. A dinner that is created from a new kitchen garden off the patio. Last year we managed to create 4 large raised gardens, added 2 types of berries to our plot of land and a couple plum trees. Chickens also became part of our daily routine and have supplied us with countless eggs. This year will be no different. There are more trees to plant, more berry plants to nurse, new gardens to create and evenings filled with laughter while we sit and relax in the calm that comes from a hard day's work and dreams fulfilled.

*just because the little miss (aka farmgirl) has dubbed our home Plum house does not in anyway give us the idea that she is a dreamer, schemer and romantic at heart

Monday, February 7, 2011

That's my girl!

Who else but my daughter would be excited about a sea of a freshly washed fleece lying in front of the space heater? She is most definitely a farm girl/crafter in the making. So much so how will she and her Mamma spend a "girls" day together? Heading to a farm to watch the sheep shearing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A journey may change your location,
but a process changes you.
~ Gary Heavin