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

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Troll Tattoo

 Ineke was given a coloring book for the movie Trolls (which I absolutely do NOT endorse, btw.  It's horrible.) and apparently she liked this character:

...enough to draw it on herself during naptime.

The Newunion

The Newunion used to be called 'Christmas In July' because in order to buy our house from the family,  we were "coerced" into promising to uphold the tradition that Gram had of hosting Christmas each year.  IF, that is, you can 'coerce' the willing.  

I happily conceded, promising a gathering but not at Christmas... hence, Christmas in July.  

And now you know how behind I am at blogging pictures!

It has been a joy and a treasure to do this gathering- and something we look so forward to every year. 

 Especially seeing our out-of-town family who make the long trek up every year.  It is a sweet time made even more sweet after months of isolation.  

I have to post two group pictures because boys will be boys, even when they are men.  Stop goofing off, Newman boys!

(Actually, I like these goofy grins best of all.)

It was 100 degrees, or thereabouts, on this day and the little girls had the right idea about getting cool.  

Eat homemade ice cream in the pool!

So the Smo'Smo and I joined them.

Is this FOR REAL?!?


Up until this point, I would hand him a baby toy or two.  

When I dumped the bag of Duplo blocks, I think I blew his mind.

The Lake Cottage

Gary and Linda began to work on a Lake Cottage this year.  

Thankfully, it is only a few minutes away because Matt and the boys (and sometimes the girls) spent many spring and summer days over at the lake, working on building.   

Which meant, of course, swimming while we were there.

I am very well aware of the good gift of space that my children have had access to during this time of lockdowns/shut downs/shut ins.  This year, more than any other, I have been acutely aware of these blessings.  I am so very grateful for it.  I am also so sad, knowing how many children, for so many months, have been stuck at home, unable to have space or places of retreat or to be exuberant or to get fresh air or to stretch their bones or breathe deeply or to clear their minds and hearts and roam wild.  These are the things that children need to flourish.  

And my heart breaks for the children who don't have these things.

Lord, fix this broken world.  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Back When There Were Butterflies

We found lots of caterpillars on the dill which meant lots of butterfly hatching this year. 

The first of the bunch was a  Eastern Black Swallowtail.

My favorite part about Eastern Black Swallowtails are the teeny pin pricks of vibrant blue at the base of their wings.

And also the faces they elicit from Ineke.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020



~ I took a picture because the counter was clear.  For about 15 seconds. ~

~ one of my quarantine projects was to get more soap made.  The first batch worked beautifully and got me excited to do more.  The second and third batches failed miserably and got me determined to figure out the problem.  The fourth batch and the rebatches worked better than nothing.  And now I have a lot of soap... but not many bars that I love.

So naturally, I need to make more!  Any very reliable soap recipes out there anyone is willing to share?

The black eye happened when he pulled out the drawers to the standing jewelry box and then climbed them like stairs.

Not only did the whole thing kerplunk down upon him- but the leftover water glasses standing on top doused him to soaking.

And I think he will probably not try THAT again.

~ making cookie pizzas saved me a lot of cookie making effort this summer. ~

 What girl goes outside with her pan of hot roasted squash?

The answer is me.

Oh!  Those little footprints!  

The boy sleeps in some pretty crazy positions.

~ I got tired of having multiple jam jars almost empty in the fridge taking up space, so I slathered all the leftovers on a batch of dough and rolled it up like cinnamon bread. 

I didn't hear any complaints at breakfast. ~

Matchy Matchy Misters

~ Ineke, my little mint gatherer. 

Leftover flowers before frost.

It has been dreary and gray outside for days.  The rain comes, the wind blows and I find it all overwhelmingly cozy.  It means the outdoor chores can be put off for a bit and for a while, the 'things that must be done' list is smaller.  Which means my level of guilt at not getting EveryLastThing done is lessened.  ;-)

The fur blankets are out and about to wrap up in.  The tea pot boils on the stove and tea boxes are on the grocery list every week.  (ONE teabag a day, children!)  Socks cover toes, and they feel warm and toasty; not stifling, like before.  The candles are lit every day.  We got our bulk apple order in so we are eating fresh apples every day and the house smells like crisp apple.  We eat our meals in the dining room once again, where the sounds echo from the walls and make dinner loud and boisterous...much different than porch suppers where the sound heads to the hills.  (More sweeping, too.)

The teensy amount of tomatoes left (almost all cherry) sit on the island ripening, waiting for Moses to sign "more" when he sees them.  Soon, they will be all gone and Moses will be very, very sad.  The only fresh flowers left are the buds of cosmos whose protective shells kept them warm and sheltered against the frost.  

Homegrown pumpkins line our porch and make for wonderfully cheap fall decorations.  Orange, yellow, moss, copper, burgundy or flaming red in all directions.  The rain makes the colors fall, but while they last it is marvelous.  

We haven't yet started our woodstove and have no other form of heat- so I bake breads and make soups to warm our chilly bones and heat up the house in the freezing mornings.  I am more inclined to knit or crochet and have started a few new projects, and picked up a few older ones too.  I finished a bunch of dishrags recently.  It is shameful how much cotton yarn I have.  Dishrags make such wonderfully quick gifts, especially when paired with a bar of homemade soap.  I am also working on some baby gifts.  Most recently, this simple garter bonnet.  I am finishing up Willa Cather's O, Pioneers! and listening to Dante's Divine Comedy on audiobook.

I have quite a lot of pictures from summer time that never were plunked on the blog that just don't fit in  this new season of cool weather.  A lot of naked babies.  A lot of summer fun.   I am going to work on getting them up here so that I don't feel further and further outdated.  I am ready to call summer quits, if I must, and step into the present.  Whatever that may bring.

If you find the blog deluge overwhelming, paddle downstream.