Saturday, November 30, 2013

Taking bets.

How long until little man pulls the tree over?
I'm hoping at least a day.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Last night, after a wonderful day with friends, family, and good food, we went through the motions of the bedtime routine. After jammies were on, teeth were brushed, scriptures read, and prayers said, we gave out hugs and kisses and broke into two groups: Marty with the girls to tuck them in with a story, and me with the baby to nurse him to sleep. 

Within a minute or two of getting settled with Ezra, in came a sad Lucy. She just wanted to snuggle with mama. I didn't have the heart to turn her away, so in to bed she came. 

After finishing his story for Dot, Marty came on back and crawled into bed , tired from a long day of helping with the kids (while I cooked and cleaned), and playing host. The four of us scooted around until we were cozy enough and closed our eyes. 

But not for long! Dorothy realized she was all alone, and she is not one to be left out of a party. She crawled up and made space between daddy and baby. There we all were, the five of us, scrunched up together, poking each other with elbows, knees, and toes, sharing the same air, and it was perfect. I fell asleep giving thanks for my sweet, growing brood. It was the perfect end to our day of thanks. 

Or so I thought. I woke up around 9:30, still surrounded by bodies, and decided that I wouldn't feel it was so perfect if we attempted the entire night that way. So I carefully untangled myself and moved the girls both back to their own spots. I also remembered I had bubbling stock to check, so I crept downstairs, checked the stock, and then realized how peaceful the house was. In all that quiet, I made my way to the bookcases, picked out a book, and spent the next hour cuddled up in a blanket doing something I really love: reading without disruption! 

I crawled back into my *more* empty bed around 11, feeling greatful for the TWO perfect endings I was blessed to have on Thanksgiving day. Life truly is good.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


It is raining today. A gloomy, heavy, cold November rain. And I am grateful for it. There will be no part of me that is filled with the urge to pack up all the children and go run an errand or try to entertain ourselves. No. Today will be simple. Pancakes and warm peppermint tea to fill our bellies; the baking of holiday pies; lots and lots of books read snuggled up on the couch. 

The rest of this week has had a pace that I detest. I like to be productive, but not busy. And busy we have been. So today I will look out at the soppy world and enjoy the short list of to dos that will dictate the spending of our time. A little recharge before the house is again filled with extras tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013


We finally had a Saturday with no obligations, so we asked the girls, "what should we do as a family?" They discussed ideas together and then said, " we want to go down to the beach and work on our collections." Our house is turning into a bit of a nature museum with all the little treasures they find scattered about. There are shells, rocks, feathers, and even bones (probably from past turkey dinners--although they SO want to believe they could be dinosaurs). 

The sun was shining, but the biting wind made it feel down below freezing. We wrapped everyone in as many layers as we could convince them to wear, and off we went.
We scoured the beach for a good half hour before our ears were aching and our fingers were feeling a little too numb for fun. But good collections were never made without a little hardship and adventure.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Like a rockstar.

Last night, Marty was off chaperoning a school dance, Isamu was at a hockey game and all night games event, and I was cozy in my jammies at home. I knew how to party. I made some ginger&honey tea, got out my knitting, and put on Pride and Prejudice. That's how I roll.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I always feel the need to get outside as much as possible this time of year. Maybe it is because my body knows the winter months will soon be here. Maybe it is just the smell and crunch of leaves under my feet. Either way, I am glad the children are willing to follow me on these random adventures.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Living on an old pasture, we don't have any established trees on our property. So we are very grateful for our neighbor's huge old maple that drops a boatload of leaves across our property.

These kids are brutal. They'll even attack an innocent photographer. All in the name of fall fun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


"It was so wonderful to be there, safe at home, sheltered from the winds and the cold. Laura thought that this must be a little bit like Heaven, where the weary are at rest. She could not imagine that Heaven was better than being where she was, slowly growing warm and comfortable, sipping the hot, sweet, ginger tea, seeing Ma, and Grace, and Pa and Carrie, and Mary all enjoying their own cups of it and hearing the storm that could not touch them here."

~from The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back to October: Pumpkin Carving

I was finally brave enough to attempt pumpkin carving with the children this year. Maybe having a teenager in the house made me feel like it was more doable. Still, I took baby steps. We decided that we would all make one pumpkin together. The girls decided on the face (they went a very traditional route), and everyone that was willing scooped out the innards. Nobody, including the teenager, was actually interested in the knife handling. So this mama took on that responsibility. Gladly. No stitches; smiling faces; one glowing jack-o-lantern. Success!
And while she enjoyed the final product, this was Dorothy's reaction to the carving:
"Mom, it is SOOOOOO STINKY!" My sensitive little bugger. She has also been known to cry while apple picking because of the smell of the smooshed apples on the ground. Baby steps.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Shaking out the grumpy buns.

Every once in a while I have a day, or even a stretch of days, that are just plain grumpy. Everything is annoying. Everyone is annoying. I look forward to bedtime and peace and quiet more than ever. This week was one of those icky yucky stretch of days that I just couldn't shake.

Finally, by Friday I felt like I had turned the corner. But today--this beautiful fall day--TODAY was just plain delicious! We put every other obligation aside and we did what we love most: we got ourselves outside. I have no pictures to document the deliciousness, but my heart will remember it all. Leaving behind my phone/camera was part of the beauty.

The first thing we did was get out for a hike. We crossed wooden bridges over babbling brooks; we identified leaves and trees; we looked at the age of trees by counting tree rings; we told the history behind the rock walls that cover this part of the country; we listened to bird calls. It was enchanting. Really. Sometimes I have a hard time pulling myself out of the woods. I want to put up a little house and stay where I can't see anything but trees.

But we had to come out of the woods when the excitement of nature turned into whines. After a few nibbles and drinks of water, everyone was in good spirits again. We watched a group of mallard ducks swimming along a stream. I couldn't help but giggle at their little orange feet paddling them along.

We decided to take the scenic route home, which lead us right past the farm where uncle T used to live AND where Marty and I had our first date. We knew that T's friend now runs the farm, so we decided to stop in for old time's sake. It just so happened to be a day where they were selling beautiful fall veggies and beef from a cow we actually knew. We became part of the excitement on the farm, walking around to see all the animals, and bringing home an unexpected package of ground beef for future meatballs and spaghetti.

Somewhere along our adventures, I decided that I wanted to have a fire and roast marshmallows to end the day. The only kink in the plan is that we have no fire pit. However, we do have a lot of empty garden this time of year. So the girls and I hauled rocks from around the yard to the empty back garden area and created a make-shift pit. After an early dinner, we headed outside to end the night under the stars, eating smores (Isamu for the first time!), and telling our favorite parts of the day.

I feel like this whole day was a tender mercy just for me. My soul needed some refilling.

My cup runneth over.