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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


A few weeks ago we hosted a post-Easter Easter party with my side of the family. My brothers weren't able to be there (*sniff*  We missed them!) but pretty much everyone else was. I took very few photos but here they are.

The table before more food arrived.  Hot foods and drinks were elsewhere.

Thank you Aldi, for your fancy cheeses. 

These chocolate bunnies are actually two Easters old.  I bought them before Easter two years ago to give to my children in lieu of Easter baskets and then, didn't for whatever reason.  Then this Easter they were sick.  So I used them as decorations at the post Easter Easter instead.  The children ate them for snack later in the week.  Food for thought: they look and taste as good as ever even two years old.  This is creepy to me.  Very creepy.

I have no pictures of my own children. 

Aletta and Cassandra were apparently more appealing subjects at the time.  :-)

My nephew Samuel got a birthday present.  Most of the children at this point were outside playing.

But clearly, my children have present radar.  PS.  Now you know my not-quite-as-hidden-as-I-thought hiding spot for the orange bouncy ball when it is not in use.  (oops.)

Two of Aletta, looking sweet in a rocking chair and sunshine.

My own version of a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  I made it for my Mom, whose birthday was the next day.  She doesn't LOVE cake, so an ICE CREAM cake was a good solution.  And this one was DE-LISH.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Since I last blogged.

You know you have been away from blogging too long when your husband asks you (for the fifth time) why you haven't posted anything new.  Yes, this post is thanks to Matt and his nagging gentle prodding to get a blog post up already!

 (I love the fact that he checks my blog, so it follows then, that I love the fact that he nags prods me about it too.) I can't help but chuckle when I remember how, at the start of this blog, I wrote that I would not, could not, never ever in a million years shall not talk to my husband through my blog.  How the mighty have fallen.


I love you Mattie.  *muah*

 We have been entertaining quite often lately which requires planning food, cleaning up the place, making food, entertaining, and cleaning up the place again and all this cleaning/food making takes time you know.  Then of course, the weather has been beyond lovely which beckons one outdoors...

But the true culprit of my lackadaisical blogging has been that I am simultaneously enjoying three excellent books all at once.  A good book is a stealer of time, THREE good books are impossible!  My precious few "free" moments are swallowed up in the turning of one page or another and I love it.  I do love a good book.  (Incidentally, I have a separate BOOKS blog post in the works, where I can blather on about all the goodness I've discovered and it will be coming soon!)

I really am BEHIND on picture-blogging though.  Since I last wrote:  This scene, taken just a week or so ago, is entirely different.  Pleasant, soft and GREEN.  Spring, spring- I love you so.

In other happy news- some time last summer I found a recipe for "Fake pineapple" made from zucchini.  I was super excited at the prospect of using zucchini in a new way but I won't say I wasn't also a bit pessimistic as I was canning it up.  Verdict is in, though, and it is GREAT!  I used it to make Ham and (fake) Pineapple pizza for pizza night a few weeks ago and I promise you- no one had a CLUE it was fake pineapple!!!  I found the idea/recipe was here.

Since I last blogged I made a new batch of soap. Probably my favorite so far, this one is scented Lemon Verbena.  In one batch I added dried Lemon Verbena, hoping all the books were wrong and that the herb wouldn't turn brown.  It was an experiment- and it FAILED miserably.    Guess the books were right and if I want to add herbs I will have to rebatch.  *Sniff*  I hate the idea of making the same soap TWICE.

The other half, instead of adding herbs, I added this sparkle powder a friend had a bunch of.  Just to see what it would do.  It is pretty but only appeared in the top inch of the soap.  Ah well.

Even though the "looks" of the soap aren't as GLAMOROUS  as I had hoped, it is by far the most delicious smelling soap I have ever smelled.  Oh.My.

 Since my last blog post, the daffodils and narcissus POPPED.

Last week it was wonderfully warm and later this week it should be also- but today is dreary and chilly.  Days like this I wish we had a furnace I could just push a button on to get the chill out and then be done with it.  Who wants the trouble of starting a fire and bringing in wood for ONE day?!?    Instead, I made grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for lunch.  When the plates were set at the table, every hand immediately went to the bowl to get warmed up.  It was too funny.

So there ya have it.  Not QUITE up to date, but it is a good first step!

Hi Mattie!  I blogged!

Hi everyone else! I am still here! 

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real


Thanks to code orange, I have not bought hardly any flowers (except the recent post-Easter discount lilies. because seriously?  Who can resist those?) this winter but when company comes...especially company coming to celebrate something as important as a belated Easter, an exception MUST be made.

Sorry for always posting flower pictures.  I just can't help it.  I love them so.


A-hem. Sorry again.   'Tis (finally!) the season for homegrown flowers!  Hallelujah!  The children take as much pleasure in the giving as I do in the getting.


A basket full of too-many projects.  The funny part is that I actually intend to finish them all by this 
HA HA HA ha ha ha hahahahahahaa


For the first time in well over a decade, I went to a hairdresser to get a haircut instead of just doing it myself.  Fact is, I have very fragile, baby fine hair and it falls out easily.  Ever since I began to lose weight last year, my hair falls out at an alarming rate.  The result?  A very nasty spot in the back of my head where the length was a full four inches shorter than the rest of my hair.  I tried to even it up but I couldn't do it.  I knew I needed the help of a professional and I knew that my hair was going to be shorter than it has ever been since I was a kid...not because I wanted it that way, but because it would take a lot of hair cutting to get the back even again.

Matt loves long hair.  I love long hair.  I love long, flowy, feminine hair.  Don't get me wrong- some people can sport the greatest short hairdo's  (like herAnd her.  Are those not the cutest hairstyles ever and so perfect on them?!)   For myself though, I prefer long.  Probably because, since I am over 6'0 tall, short hair will only add to my manliness factor.  But, it had to be done.  Period. 

I immediately thought of this hair style from the movie 27 Dresses.    And plus, no matter how many of the million hairstyles she had in that movie, they were all great.  Katherine Heigl and I have similarly shaped faces, it could work, right?


If I didn't have a hairdresser that gave me random short layers all throughout my hair, making me look half rockstar/half shaggy dog.

I hate it.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

And the good news is....my hair takes FOREVER to grow back.  And in the meantime- it is too short to pull up in a ponytail to hide.

My eyes are closed in the picture above because if they were open, you'd see the loveliest shade of red cry-eye you ever-did-see. And that would be a crying shame.

round button chicken

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



 It is very hard to sit down and write cheerful things on this blog when my heart is left mute by unthinkable, unfathomable things. 

We don't have 'television' so we don't have opportunity to watch the news every day and this is intentional.  This is not because of an ostrich approach, with our heads in the sand, but so that our time will be spent on real news and so that we can get the news without the banter of talking heads.  We still very much follow the news, even when we wish we didn't.  The news from the nation is telling OF the nation, and the non-news is just as telling. And when crime is ignored and non-crimes are punished severely one must wonder what is wrong with people?  But I know what is wrong.    Despair is what fills my skin these days.

I planted two raspberry bushes, two blueberry bushes and a thornless blackberry bush under the looming gray sky yesterday.  My in-laws said I could dig up some baby huckleberry starts from their property to start our own patch here at Hopestead too so that will be next. 

The perennials need attention, the flower circle a good mulching.

Schoolwork still needs to be done and Haydn listened to and a certain little boy still needs to be reminded to go potty before it is too late.

We have had company on Monday night for dinner, a family over on Tuesday for lunch and will have most of my side of the family over on Sunday for a belated Easter gathering...

 and for these little distractions, I am very thankful.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Since we moved into this house a year ago, I have had to prepare many a meal on laminate flooring.

And I don't mean the fancy modern laminate WOOD flooring.  I mean that vinyl-y, bendable flooring that was so hot in the 80's.

I kid you not.

My children have incredible flexibility. 

Why a person would put that on their counters I will never know.  But there it was.  And there is stayed-for a year.  Ugh.

That is, until my handy hubby had his way with it.  (That sounds bad.)

He built me a beautiful wooden countertop from a sycamore log that had fallen into the creek at our old house, that he had sawed up for a "someday" project.  I know nothing about wood but apparently good sycamore logs floating down the creek is a bad thing.

So now, thanks to him, I have a lovely (and free!) new countertop to work on!  And thanks to my in-laws, I have a new dishwasher hooked up that I can stow away dirty dishes in so I can actually SEE the beautiful counter for most of the day.

I do not, however, have cupboard doors that will shut...as  you can probably surmise from these photos.

Even still, I count myself a lucky lady.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Wandering Heart


A little secret about me is that I don't actually go outside in winter, if I can help it.  I stay holed up inside willing the winter away right from the beginning.  If I MUST, I bring wood in; if I MUST, I take out the garbage; if I MUST, I survive the walk to the car to get groceries or go to church.  But only if it is an absolute necessity.  It isn't that I don't love to be outside.  It is only that I don't love to be cold.  In fact, I rather hate it.

Needless to say, spring can never come soon enough for me.  March is a particularly hard month to endure.  I am constantly on the lookout for some sign- some hint that spring is coming again.  The first redwing blackbird call.  The first crocuses.  The first beating of returning wings from Canada. The first rusty red belly on the lawn.  I heard the first peeper song yesterday!

 It all makes me ridiculously happy.

From now on, it will hard to keep me INSIDE. 

We have gone exploring every day since the the crocuses popped.  We took Skeeter the pony with us and tied him up at the edge of the woods.  He liked that.  Ruby the dog, too, loves our adventures.  The other day Judah climbed up on top of a forest stonewall and just screamed at the top of his lungs.

It was glorious.  Just exactly the right thing to do.


Monday, April 08, 2013

Birthday Weekend

We celebrated Andrew's birthday over the weekend and what a beautiful weekend to do it.  Ahhhhh, spring....I can feel your tip-toeing.  I can hear your whispers.

I do feed him, by the way.

Andrew has been a cowboy for so long,  I thought a change of perspective might do him some good.  I've wanted to make him a teepee for so long and really intended to for Christmas, but then never did (as usual).  I knew if I didn't do it soon he might outgrow the coolness of it before he could ENJOY the coolness of it.  Seven seems like such a teetering age, teetering between young and old.  But I just won't think about that right now.

Instead of unwrapping a present, he unwrapped his eyes.

The whole tribe.

 Since there are other little indians running around this place, I wanted to make it large enough to accommodate a whole tribe and/or some REAL play and not just sitting in it.   A great thought- but, it turns out, not very practical for a bedroom that is nearly the same size as the teepee!


I used these two teepee tutorials.  This one for the size/constructionThis one for the lacing/opening.  I used just over one canvas dropcloth...if you made it even the tiniest bit less huge, you could get away with buying just ONE dropcloth.

I made a fleece fire pillow, too, using the fleece supply that never-ends.


No underage pipe smoking happened during the taking of this photo.  Ps.  I love Corynn's expression.

We ended the night with another bonfire.  The edible kind.