Thursday, December 23, 2010

What we can learn from the Grinch

Yes, we can learn the true meaning of Christmas. But I think the Grinch has a lot more to teach us. Dorothy has been watching the Dr. Seuss cartoon version a lot lately while I have been slaving away over my sewing machine making cloth diapers for the big Lucy switch (did I mention that my friend Jessica inspired me to further reduce my carbon footprint?--but that is another blog entirely).

Anywhew...The Grinch. He needs to come up with a plan to ruin Christmas, and he does. "I'll make a quick Santa Claus hat and a coat" he says. Then the Grinch just happens to find some material lying around his cave in the mountains, freehand cuts a snug fitting jacket and hat pattern, and sews it all together, well, quickly.

What next, you ask? Well he needs a reindeer for his sled, "but since reindeer are scare, there were none to be found. Did that stop the old Grinch? No, he just said, 'if I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!'" This guy is good. I want him around for next Halloween.

I think the most impressive thing about the Grinch is his self-esteem. He decides that even though scooting down a chimney may be "a rather tight fit" he can do it. If the real Santa can then he can too, dang it! He never doubts himself, and he gets the job done. NOw, if only he could channel all this talent toward a better objective than ruining Christmas for the Whos.

Well, with visions of the Provident Living Grinch in your heads, I will leave you all to have a merry Christmas. May you all have time with your families and to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

1. Family coming to town
2. Time with my hubby and girls
3. Jesus Christ

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dress Up, Turkey, and Decking the Halls

Oh, December. Nice to see you again. You snuck up on us this year, but we are looking forward to cozy nights inside around our glowing tree.
Our Thanksgiving this year was wonderfully simple and delicious. We decided to break the trend of doing Thanksgiving with all of Marty's family and just had a day at home with the four of us. It was especially touching to sit in our own home with our beautiful girls and truly give thanks for all the incredible blessings our Heavenly Father has given us. I so often feel that I do not deserve all that we have. With all of the quiet time in preparing the food and taking naps there was a lot of time for reflection and meditation. I went to bed that evening with my heart overflowing with thanks. There was so much more to savor that day than food, and that is how I hope it will always be.
I have to admit that I also loved carrying on the traditions that I remember so well. I woke up in the morning to fry the bacon for my mom's (passed down from her mom's) stuffing recipe. As I cooked down the celery and onions in the drippings and added spices, all the feelings of warm Thanksgiving mornings under my parent's wings came into my mind. I love how intricately smells are connected to memory. I have also loved all these days after of turkey leftovers. Now that is one bird that knows how to feed the masses.
Aside from the holidays, life has just felt particularly sweet lately. I have been feeling over the last month or two like I can finally manage to take care of my children AND my housework--not just one or the other on any given day. I've also felt like the whole Mary/Martha complex is in balance right now. I have been finding more ways to be spiritual everyday while still being able to maintain our home. I suppose I should really say that I have been more willing, so the Lord has helped me find better ways to balance all the details of motherhood that you slowly discover. And again, I am left to feel like I don't deserve all that I have.
But enough of my thoughts, here is the real bread and butter: pictures of the girls!
Dorothy is very into dressing up lately. I am very into capturing every silly moment to make her embarrassed when she is older.

The Goose just keeps getting more beautiful and wonderful with every day. How can your heart just keep getting bigger with every baby? Mine feels so full of love it is likely to burst some days.

Did I mention that Dorothy is into dressing up?...even when it hinders her ability to walk.

We have a great new family in our ward with kids right around the same ages. Bastian and Lucy are only a week apart, so we have fun watching them hit milestones together. Oh, how I love kissing those sweet baby ears that stick out at ever such a cute angle from Lucy's head!

And we went ahead and put out our Christmas decorations already. I was feeling the Christmas spirit and was amazingly able to pass it on to my sweet husband who insisted that decorations are for December only. What's a few extra days? And just look at how much joy this girl gets from her "snow snow."

1. Kristi's quick and safe delivery of baby Sienna.
2. Preparing for a new season.
3. A date with my hubby to Harry Potter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I knew someone could say it better...

After my thoughts the other day, I found this quotation:

"The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Thank you, Robert Louis Stevenson. I needed that.

1. The Conference issue of the Ensign
2. Finishing the Book of Mormon as a Family
3. A peaceful and Calm heart

Monday, October 25, 2010

Helen Keller once said...

something along the lines of: "I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but my duty is to accomplish humble tasks as if they were noble and great."

I was thinking about this quotation the other day and feeling very much like my life consists of a long string of humble tasks that I try ever-so-hard to feel are noble and great.

However, I then had an "ah-ha!" moment, and a glorious lightbulb shone. My duty is to take care of my family and raise my children in righteousness. What more noble and great tasks could there be? If I am able to accomplish these two things, then I truly will feel that I have lived a life of greatness. So bring on the sinks full of dirty dishes, the sad cries of Dot at 2am, the goat milking, the endless vacuuming-up after a toddler--I'm ready for greatness!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Keeping Busy

We have been BUSY bees this fall,
but it has been a wonderful sort of busy.

This weekend we celebrated the 10 year anniversary
of the dedication of this beautiful building:
We have a lot of sweet memories at the Boston Temple
including our marriage in 2008.
Marty and I were lucky enough to speak at a Youth Devotional
and we loved having the girls on the grounds.
Dorothy was especially enchanted by the Temple.

We also took a family trip to Walden Pond to get some fresh air
(much needed after a sick and rainy week at home).

I love coming to visit Walden.
I'm hoping to make it a fall family tradition.

Dorothy hanging out with Auntie Eva--
my little bohemian child. Not surprising.
Apple picking with Aubrey, Char, and the mini Char.
Finishing up some fruit bars on a warm fall day.
Lots of walks when the weather cooperates.
And can you guess what one of the favorite
forms of entertainment has been at our house?
Who knew pumpkins were so versatile.
1. The Temple
2. Healthy Children
3. No School on Columbus Day!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Weekend

What a busy and marvelous weekend!
We packed up Friday evening and drove to PA
to spend the weekend with my sister, Eva, doing THIS:

87 quarts of applesauce to enjoy until next fall.
We are full of fall fruit goodness.
We are also full spiritually from a wonderful
General Conference.
It was hard to catch everything with the kiddos
and making sure the applesauce got done,
so I look forward to listening to and reading
the talks again.
But it really was a wonderful conference.
I loved all the focus on
following the Prophet,
using our free agency for good,
improving and understanding our own faith,
and being grateful.
Oh, how wonderful to feel so FULL!
1. more food storage
2. inspiring words
3. some cool weather--finally!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I walked in from milking the goat this evening to the smell of roasted butternut, garlic, and sage. The air outside had started to cool down and the warmth of the house was inviting, especially mixed with fall scents.

I love this time of year. However, this year it feels even more satisfying. For one thing, I'm not morning sick for the first fall in two years! WOOHOO! I'm also feeling more satisfaction out of the harvest this time of year brings. I didn't do as much in the garden as I had hoped, but I look at the ever growing pile of winter squash and root vegetables and feel proud--and safe. We have food to eat for at least a few months.

I've been working hard to keep to my local foods pledge. We have frozen up kale, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green peppers, broccoli, shredded zucchini, rhubarb, peaches, blueberries, strawberry freezer jam, and all sorts of local meats. In a few weeks we'll be canning up applesauce. We're so grateful for all of our fresh milk, and we're amazed at how much can still come in from the garden. Oh, the wisdom of braising greens, winter squash, and root vegetables. I'm hoping that we'll get through to January on mainly local produce. We may need to supplement some non-local onions, garlic, and carrots. Our goal is to make it even further next year until we see our asparagus poke it's nose through that gorgeous brown soil. We're feeling closer to and ever more grateful for this beautiful Earth and the corner of New England in which we have the priviledge of living.

1. sweaters
2. freezers
3. piano lessons

Monday, September 13, 2010

let's get away from goats for a while...

The goats are great,
but these people are perfect:)

Lucy continues to be a mellow, sweet baby girl.
She is getting up on her hands or knees,
but hasn't quite figured out how to do both at once.
I'm afraid she might be crawling before she turns 5 months old.
A typical moment at our house:
Lucy enjoying life; Dot getting ready to do some damage.
We're always ready for damage control:)

Can you believe how big she is getting?

Speaking of BIG--
we enjoyed every bite of our farewell to summer sundae.

Just a mama and her Goose.

Another failed attempt at a nice Sunday morning picture.
Dot officially enters nursery this week!
Another shot of my beautiful first born.

I love my family!
1. needing a sweater for our walk today
2. new young couples moving into our ward--
but we still want Allison and Kent back!
3. a boatload of winter sqush ready to eat on my back porch.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Well, thank goodness we made it through the first few days of having goats. I guess it is kind of like having a child. That first week you're home from the hospital always leaves me worn out. Anywho, that said, I was cursing our decision on day two. It took Marty and I nearly an hour to tag-team milk our ONE goat (how pathetic are we?). However, it was done. The third day was Marty's first day of school. Hmm. That put a new stumbling block in our path. I had these glorious visions of me out in the early morn milking away while Dot played safely on the grass with the chickens and Lucy slept peacefully in her bed. HA! When we realized that would not work we said, okay, we'll just get up extra early and take care of it before school. So we waltzed out the front door a little after 5 am only to realize our barn has no light source and it was pitch black out. We ended up going out an hour later with the rising sun and barely making it back inside in time to get Marty dressed and off to school. That brought us to day 4 where we thought, why are we trying to milk in the morning when our goat is only milking once a day? We have since switched her to an evening milking schedule, and things are looking up. In fact, I am proud to say that today I was out to the barn and back with a quart and a half of milk in less than 25 minutes. Our new record:) (though still quite a novice time compared to muy sister-in-laws 5 minutes per goat).

But the process aside, we are really enjoying the *ahem* milk of our labors. I made ricotta for the first time, and it was a success! It was darn easy, too. If you have a place to get raw milk around you, give it a try! Tonight I set up for some crockpot yogurt. This I have made before, so I won't be giving myself nearly as many pats on the back if all goes according to plan.

Well, my little Dot is sick of me typing. I best be off. Time to slip some tomato skins and put me up some more tomaters for the cold months ahead. Boy howdy, do I love my life!

1. new skills
2. stronger hands
3. a day cool enough to put on a thin sweater

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Welcome, three little goats: Hermoine, Daphne, and Selene.

We have some new friends here in Westport--
friends that are good at sharing (their milk).

We took on one milker and twin baby goats this weekend.
This morning was my first go at milking--
not so great.
I'll get the hang of it.
Hermoine is pretty patient with me,
and we're looking forward to all the tasty things we can do
with fresh goat milk.
Yogurt and ricotta are first on the list,
and we'll see what else we can come up with!
Stay tuned...
1. knowing where my milk comes from
2. knowing my fingers will get stronger
3. knowing fall is just around the corner!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


To internet. We did it. It cost too much (in our humble opinion), and it's pretty ridiculous that you still have to pay for cable even when you do not own a tv. So we dropped it. Hence the total lack of blogging lately.

Yes, I miss being able to jump on the net for a random recipe or the answer to a random question. No, I do not miss how much time the internet managed to suck up. I have found myself a much more productive wife and mother with all the time I have regained. Sadly, I am also realizing just how much time I have often wasted on here.

Lately I have found time to start and nearly complete a reverence book for Dorothy that my mom sent me a year ago. I have made several batches of tomato sauce and put them up for the winter months. I have found time to read again--how did I let that start to slip? I have been better about keeping our house clean, spending time with my husband, and getting outdoors. This is not to say none of these things were happening before, but with the extra (approximatley) hour I have gained each day I am feeling a sort of leisure to do the things I love and should have been doing more of all along.

Luckily we do have the library within a 10 minute walk, and my in-laws live across the street with internet we can use. So now we get to check up on things about 2 times per week. Perfect. For now, that is all I need.

1. time
2. our first ripe pumpkins
3. a baby that sleeps through the night--I never knew it could be possible

Friday, August 6, 2010

3 months!

It's true.
The Goose has been here 3 months already!
This baby girl is surely the peacemaker in our home.
She is so patient, sweet, and loving.
We love you, Lucy!

1. baby girls
2. spontaneous trips to Newport
3. less humidity

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just ducky.

As part of our grand finale
in the state of North Carolina,
we spent a morning feeding ducks at the local lake.

Dorothy loves ducks.
In fact, "duck" was one of the first words
she learned to say with clarity.

Auntie Kristi and Miss Keira made for excellent company.

of course,
there was one sweet Lucy Goosey along for the ride.

Dorothy had a hard time understanding
that the stale crackers were not for her snack.

It was a lovely way to wrap up our month
in the south.

1. sleeping in my own bed
2. getting rid of the binkis without even a single tear
3. fresh potatoes, onions, cucumbers, and zucchini from the garden
to greet us

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In case you were wondering...

...just exactly where we have been the last few weeks,
we thought we'd share a *few* pictures:)

We have:

visited with cousins,

spent lots of family time together,

found ways to beat the heat,

experienced the sprinkler for the first time,

been spoiled rotten by auntie Eva,

blessed our sweet baby Lucy,

shared lots of smiles over Pelican's snoballs,

and other messy treats,

introduced Lucy to Uncle Will,
managed to get in a date or two,

explored nature,
taken walks,

(Lucy's version of taking a walk in nature)

escaped to the woods,
spent time with great grandpa Brooks

heard lots of giggles from lots of little girls,

fallen in love with sunglasses,
smiled until our faces hurt,

read lots of stories,

loved having a free pool,

acted silly,

and just been loving life!

1. time with family
2. inspired teachers at church
3. reverent music