Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have you been to Tollipop?  If not you should check it out.  Kirsten is having a give-away of a drawing of two adorable hugging bunnies.  Go see.  Wander through her stories.  You won't be sorry.  If you win, you're welcome.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

After putting your names into a hat the winner is:  Jeanene!  I need to get your address and I'll get the book on it's way.  Thanks for playing along! 

I just got back from my first time away from kids since they were born.  It was great to be with my sister and her husband in the temple, see friends, and visit with family.  However, I'm just not that excited about leaving them again until they are quite a bit older.  Sometimes it's good to know things about yourself.  I did as consolation bring back some visitors. 

Granny and for the first time to our house Grandad!

He was a big hit

Especially with a certain tiny girl

What's not to love about someone who's willing to be your roundhouse (that's where trains sleep).

Uncle came along too and put some engineering skills to work track building

We got to show them a bit of our town

Mowg gives us a pose at the Train Depot 

While it may not be London, we do have a lovely phone booth.
Incidentally it makes a great place to step out of the blowing snow

Brrr!  Welcome to Spring at our house

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So today is my "blogiversary".  This blog is 2.  It hardly seems possible.  I love the idea of a Hobbit Birthday.  In applying it here that means a give-away.  This time it's going to be a book.  As I was going through books recently I discovered that I have an extra copy of Cranberry Thanksgiving.  I have loved this book since I was a child.  Maggie and her grandmother live on a cranberry farm and invite two very different individuals to Thanksgiving Dinner.  Mr. Whiskers, an old sea captain and Mr. Lawrence, a dandy from the city.  It turns out the Mr. Lawrence is there to steal Grandmother's famous cranberry bread recipe.  Mr. Whiskers saves the day and there's even some forgiveness of Mr. Lawrence in the end (and the recipe itself as well).  So would you like to win?

Please leave a comment, you could tell me your favorite book from childhood.  If you don't have one, just leave a comment.  I have quite a lot going on just now so I'm going to leave this open for about a week.  Thanks for reading!

Comments Closed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This is the trestle bridge (or castle bridge to hear Tiny tell it) that Dad built to use at the railroad. 

This is the girl that played with track that Dad built to use with the railroad.

This is the boy that played with the girl, who played with the track that Dad built to use with the railroad.

"Hello Gordan, My name is Oliver."

"Oh no!  A coupling broke!"

We had some snow (unusual for us I know) on Wednesday.  It came down in great big clumps as if someone was having a snowball fight. This is not a build up of snow in his hair.  That's just how it fell.  In a matter of minutes.

It looks like asteroids taking off in this picture, but they really were falling.

We took a couple minutes to check it out and see how bikes rode in it.

I thought I was going to collect snowflakes to photograph, not possible.

Mowg shouted as he took one last run, "I LOVE WINTER!"
Dramatic change of tune from the "I hate winter, I like spring." that I've been hearing lately.

Tiny had to have one last run too

With flakes that size we certainly had to try and catch them on our tongues.

Some of us preferred not to look.

Others chased them around.

Sometimes you just have to do something crazy,
like run around outside in the snow for a few minutes in your pajamas. 
Then winter is a "wunnerful season."

Friday, March 18, 2011

How about some Ketchup?  Or Catsup? Or Catch up?

In the world of camera cards sometimes you go back to a card and discover a picture.
This is from October.  A little hunter taking a shot

This is project that I've been working on from the Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love book.

  Here's my first "Pocket Pal"

I mentioned the Wheat Grass Heads in an earlier post.
Here's a one week later picture

Mowg was wondering when his was going to get a face (on the left).  I told him that it would as soon as he put it on.  Playing in the dirt held far more sway than making a face.  Tiny is creative (on the left).

Tiny's Grasshead

The one I did

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Moment:

I was cleaning/organizing (truly mucking out) our bedroom yesterday.  I have a little corner of it that holds my sewing machine and piles of other things that gravitate toward it.  It gets quite out of control.  I turned around and there was my tiny girl with a small collection of trains playing on my the bed.  She smiled at me and said, "I playing trains."  Then she went back to doing that.  After a bit of cleaning I'd cleared one patch of floor.  She decided it would be a great place to lay down.  She found a pillow and then needed a blanket.  Since I wasn't terribly accommodating she got her own blanket and a book.  She spent the next 20 minutes or so reading books in a little rectangle of sunshine on the floor while I continued my tasks.  That my friends was Heaven: to be close and to be occupied in good things.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I know I'm not alone in following the devastation in Japan.  My mind wanders North and though my family has not been directly affected and I know my brother is safe; I think of how very close they are.  Not truly physically close, but still connected.   My heart aches.  Then as I was visiting blogs I came across a slideshow of a dear but distant friends' nephew.  As I watched the images of this sweet baby and his interactions with his parents tears welled up in my eyes.  There is hope in devasation.  There is peace in calamity.  It does come. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I thought I'd share a few places that I enjoy going to gather ideas of things to do with my kids.  Sometimes my search is directed and other times I'm just browsing.  I'm feeling as though I overstated my mother of the year status and don't want you to think that I don't suffer from feeling like I'm not being quite enough most of the time.  It was just one of those days when everything worked and we had a great time.  All of us, not just them and not just me.  Anyway, these are my most frequented.  There are others out there that are wonderful and other blogs that I read, but these are my most looked at.

Ordinary Life Magic Science/Math/Craft ideas.
She has wonderfully organized lists of projects.  Math and SCIENCE projects that are fun to do.  She also has fun and interesting craft projects.   One of my favorite places to go for our Fun Friday activities.  We just made wheatgrass heads and the little sprouts are starting to poke through!  Yea for old mismatched socks!

Wee Folk Art.  Craft
This is a mother and daughter team.  Fabulous projects also very organized.  Most of these are projects are craft oriented, but they also have 3 curriculum's for preschool/kindergarten that are wonderful.  Even if you're not homeschooling they're great activities that are fun for that age group.

Rythym of the Home  Craft/Food/Ideas
This is a quarterly online publication that is filled with crafts and ideas that follow the waldorf and montessori schools of thought in education.  You need time to look through them, but still very helpful ideas.

One Pretty Thing Across the board ideas
This is a catalog site of ideas from around the web.  They're posted by theme: holidays, kid crafts, types of crafts etc. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

I think I might have made it into the running for Mother of the Year on Wednesday.  We had a few hours at the beach in the kitchen.  The kids and their friend that was visiting were in swimsuits.  There was lots of water.  Some pretend play.  It was magical.  It came about as a result of Mowg picking Humphrey the Lost Whale to watch a TV.  This led to the location of some marvelous whales in our toys.  A humpback whale was quite imperitive.  This led to penguin play with a mommy, daddy and baby.  Later that day we "planted" chocolate chips in bread to make Pain au Chocolat.  I got this idea from HERE.  Delish!  And then used sock toes to create little Grasshead people.  We used wheat (it sprouts and grows marvelously fast) and the idea and how to do it came from HERE.  I didn't win housekeeper or cook of the year, but I'm defintely in the running for Mom.  I needed that.  Up until then there was quite a lot of cabin fever anger floating around.  Hooray!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We were talking about words and what letter they start with at breakfast this morning.  Here's part of the conversation:

Mom, "What does milk start with?"
Tiny, "Cow!"

I guess after a fashion milk does start with a cow doesn't it?! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

"We have to be a lot nicer.  If we are not kind to each other then our fun is spoiled." Mowg
Sometimes truths are just simple aren't they?

Friday, March 4, 2011

We got a bunch of snow yesterday, about a foot.

Mowg asked if we could go for a walk.  We waited until Dad got home and went for a walk up the hill from our house.  It was snowing sideways.  Tiny squealed, "Wahoo!  This is so fun!"  We decided to come home and spend some time in the backyard.  There were snowball fights (one good guy and one bad guy.  The good guy always got missed and the bad guy had to fall down)  After Dad had been the bad guy and was laying on the ground, Mowg came over to him and asked, "Dad, now wasn't that fun?!  Let's go help Tiny with the snowman for a little while."  While Tiny and I were building up the snowman she said, "This a wunnerful season.  Make a snowman."  The kids put the funnel on top of the snowman when we weren't looking.  It seems appropriate for this train obsessed household.  Later that night inside the house Tiny made apple soup for us.  Here's a bit of what she said very enthusiastically.  She is always very enthusiastic:

"I going to make apple soup fo you guys!  On de baf.*  Apple Soup!  Is hot!  Soup is ready.  **bery  caful.  I need you to taste it!"
*Translated: In the bath--a doll bath
** Be very careful

I don't remember if I shared the hats that Dad and Tiny are wearing.  Tiny's actually wearing Mowg's hat.  She and I made them for Dad and Mowg for Christmas.  We're pretty pleased with how they turned out.  I can't remember the exact fiber content, but it was from spun by fairly local spinner from wool, alpaca and silk I think.  Just a little share.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Small spaces require organization.  Large spaces are nicer when they're organized, but in a small space there must be organization or the world just tumbles down.  Literally.  I found this book a while back.  It's not one I've read, I just love the title.  Someday I'll look at it.  Someday I'll know if it is what it seems to promise in the title.  I have had a goal to be organized since I was about 10ish--I found an index card indicating it was a goal.  I still struggle with this.  I've been told I need to declutter, get rid of things.  I can do that to a certain extent, but to a large extent I'm just too sentimental.  I also have a variety of interests, I like to learn and do and read lots of different things.   That also means I'm surrounded by those things.  So "neat" and "tidy" are not usually words that can describe anything about me.  It is hard for those looking in to differentiate between the piles.  Those piles are my step toward organization.  I've been trying to organize our garage lately and that has taken quite a bit of time.  As I look around at the piles and the shifting back and forth of boxes and bags of things I think that perhaps the headway is really made in for the next few weeks my KNOWING where those things are.  After that its anyone's guess.  What do you use to organize?  How do you keep toys at bay?   I need to know, really. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Backlash.  Lately it always seems to be somewhere in the list of headlines I read.   When I have investigated further (not much further mind you) I've discovered that a backlash can include either a large or a small number of people.  Is it possible that one person can create a backlash? 

Just random thoughts from the whirlpool in my brain.

Random thought #2 I just finished Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty.  It's a young adult book, but I loved it.  It's about a fictitious southern mill worker and what she experiences during the civil war (for example:  rounded up and sent north as a traitor).  The author is meticulous in her historic accuracy.  She includes a note at the end explaining what is fictitious and what is not.  There are two strong female characters who make very different decisions.  It's a great fast read for an adult and a great young adult book.  The war is ever present and very real, but it does not get really gory.  The author doesn't mask it as she explains in the end, but the battle she chooses for her main characters to observe has weather which does to a certain extent.  I highly recommend it.  I will be looking for her other works as well.

PS This author was a recommendation to me by my sister-in-law.  There's nothing quite like looking through second hand books with someone who loves them too.  We spent a lot of time handing books back and forth to each other.  Good times!