Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mr. Graham Fiddles on the Roof, and Other News :)

Dear Friends,

We still have no news on a new job or house, but we've managed to keep ourselves busy, in spite of that. Mr. Graham has been playing the butcher Lazar Wolf in our local "Fiddler on the Roof" production~

And my brother Jamie is playing the innkeeper Reb Mordcha~

We were delighted to have a visit from Grandma Graham, who came all the way out from Missouri to see her boy in the play :) !

We treated Grandma to an outing by the LDS temple in Idaho Falls, where we fed the ducks and geese by the Snake River.

Meanwhile, on the homestead, green things are finally making a show!

There is garlic that we somehow missed harvesting last year~ The whole plant makes a lovely pesto or salsa ingredient!

The Moonwort (Artemisia ludoviciana) from last year has had lots of babies! They are coming up in an almost perfect circle.

And the Japanese knotweed is just big enough to start playing with (We've never tried eating it before, but it's supposed to taste like rhubarb).

These plants are still some of our favorites, though (The ones wearing dresses)~ They seem to be growing nicely in the sunshine and fresh air!

We hope that you enjoyed your visit with us today, and that you will be blessed in all that you do.



How the Flowers Grow

This is how the flowers grow:
I have watched them and I know.

First, above the ground is seen
A tiny blade of purest green,
Reaching up and peeping forth
East and west, and south and north.

Then it shoots up day by day,
Circling in a curious way
Round a blossom, which it keeps
Warm and cozy while it sleeps.

Then the sunbeams find their way
To the sleeping bud and say,
"We are children of the sun
Sent to wake thee, little one."

And the leaflet opening wide
Shows the tiny bud inside,
Peeping with half-opened eye
On the bright and sunny sky.

Breezes from the west and south
Lay their kisses on its mouth;
Till the petals all are grown,
And the bud's a flower blown.

This is how the flowers grow:
I have watched them and I know.

~Gabriel Setown

Sunday, April 25, 2010

To Our Dear Friends (You Know Who You Are!). . .

We are touched~


At a loss for words~


So happy~

Filled with gratitude~

And awe~

For the kindness shown to us, by you all, with the "Baby Shower in a Box" that we received in the mail when our computer was down! All we can say is "Thank you so very much"; you have lifted up our spirits and touched us so deeply. We could feel the love in each thoughtfully-wrapped gift. May you be blessed for your kindness and thoughtfulness.




"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all . . . "
~Romans 1:8

Friday, April 23, 2010

Computer down time

Hello, this is Mr. Graham, Marqueta's husband, just letting you know that our home computer is down due to power failure and we will be without a computer for a little while. I am using another family member's computer to send this message and just wanted to let all of Marqueta's blog friends know that she is doing well and she hopes that you all are happy and safe as well. She also wanted me to send a special thank you to all of those that were so kind to send the "baby shower in a box" gift package. It was a very special surprise to recieve so many loving gifts from some of her dear friends.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It Was a Merry Birthday!

Dear Friends,

We are overcome with gratitude for all the wonderful, supportive comments on our last post; how sweet to have caring friends! Even though we may never meet in this life, we can feel the love through your words.

The fifteenth brought yet another birthday to our lives (mine, this time), and we decided to celebrate by going out to eat. . .WAY out to eat! Out to Wolverine Canyon, to be exact :) .

The two men in my life.

AnnaMarie (who brought me breakfast in bed, too) packed us a delicious lunch, and we headed to the hills with my mother and my next-older brother (and assorted pooches) for a little nature outing. I am so blessed to have been born in a family of nature lovers~ One of my earliest memories is of my two oldest brothers (who weren't able to come that day) sitting in their room, memorizing the scientific names of American wildlife, just for fun!

Tasha and a friendly burdock burr~

We (Frankie) decided to take a little hike across the creek, and was I ever excited to find a little patch of stinging nettles that I had completely missed last year! I think it was a gift from the birthday fairies, who know how we expectant mothers can crave our greens :) . I also found a few alder bushes there, and pruned a few small branches for their bark (Alder bark is good for the digestion and fat metabolism, among other things; maybe we should start a diet business!).

Evangeline is picture-perfect in pink polka dots!

A small herd of mule deer was enjoying the fine day, as well.

There's Frankie with yet another stick!

And last but not least, Buddy the Burr Hound enjoying a little freedom.

We hope you enjoyed coming along with us for a bit of my special day~ With each passing year I realize more and more, that it is indeed the special quiet times spent as family at are the most memorable and blessed. May you enjoy Nature and her healing powers with your dear ones this spring, as well.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Time for Nature, and for Pondering on our Lives

Dear Friends,

A merry day to you, dear ones! Thank you for your comments on our last post~ our children do actually like to try wild foods, even though we've had a few "interesting" experiments that were too tough to eat :) .

Today we were able to harvest some cattail roots, which we roasted along with carrots, onions, and yams. Although they are quite fibrous, they have a nice, sweet starchy taste, and would be a great survival food.

I made an accidental discovery this week that I thought I'd share with you~if you dig up dandelions that are just sprouting up and put them in water, the greens grow in your house and are much less bitter and dirty! I'll be digging up a lot more of them, for sure.

We have actually had temperatures reach into the 60s these past two days, and have been out to enjoy nature as much as possible. We keep checking last year's nettle patch to see if they've come up yet; so far, no luck! We did find a few treasures by the river, though, to add to our collection: fresh-water clam shells, a hummingbird nest, and pretty pine cones and rocks. We even had the experience of hearing a Scotch pine popping its seeds out; it sounded a lot like popcorn! Pine seeds, even small ones, can be eaten for a high protein snack, and are quite tasty, too.

Nature Journaling is such fun! . . .

As is picnicking in high winds! Grab that lettuce before it blows away!

I was asked if I would post something about my conversion story for the way I live, and have been pondering this for the last week or so. Mostly, I can say that I was "saved through childbirth", in that only after being home with my children was the Lord able to whisper into my ear the changes that He wanted in me. A few ideals that would define my lifestyle are: natural living (homeschooling, home birthing, natural healing and diet), and godly, old-fashioned womanhood.

I grew up a self-conscious, visionless tomboy, never quite feeling like I fit in with everyone else, but not knowing where I did fit in. I certainly never dreamed of having a large family or being a homeschooling housewife! Little by little, though, as I would hold my babies while they were sleeping, the Lord would put ideas into my heart that would change my life forever. He introduced to me to people who had life-changing information. Plus, He made it too uncomfortable for me to wear pants while pregnant, so I had to wear dresses whether I liked it or not!

With each baby girl I was sent, more and more I would think about the legacy that I would leave my daughters. I wanted to have them remember me like I remember my Grandma; always wearing a dress and apron around the house, and keeping herself well-groomed, even if no one was expected to come over.

My birth experience in the hospital, as well as the few times that we took our babies to the doctor, led me to feel that there had to be a gentler way to birth and healing, as well.

I can think of a few things that came into my life just when I was ready to receive them : Dr. Christopher and his School of Natural Healing, Sarah ban Breathnach's "Simple Abundance" and "Mrs. Sharp's Tradition", Vision Forum and its wonderful products, and the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. These were little seeds, planted in my life, that have brought forth much fruit in their own way! I now am confident enough to handle most common illnesses and emergencies; I try to dress and live in a manner that I hope I would not be ashamed of if the Savior came to my door; my children are being raised with the "gentle art of learning"; and I am learning to become more self-sufficient through gardening, sewing, preserving, and using wild foods, etc. I still feel like I have so much to learn in all of these areas, and am so grateful for my patient husband who has had to learn and grow along with me, and has been gracious enough to allow me to do so many things that are indeed "not of this world"! ;-)

I would like to encourage anyone reading this, who may feel afraid of living in a way that is separate from the world, to just let the Spirit of the Lord fill you with peace. It IS worth it, although it certainly is not easy! You will feel a peace and confidence in your life that you have never felt before, even through the heartaches and trials.

I love this quote which I found recently, and I think it sums up so much of my own life's experience~

"If you have attempted to fit whatever mold and failed to do so, you are probably lucky. You may be an exile of some sort, but you have sheltered your soul. There is an odd phenomenon that happens when one keeps trying to fit and fails. Even though the outcast is driven away, she is at the same time driven right into the arms of her psychic and true kin, whether these be a course of study, an art form, or a group of people. It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires. It is never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

It has been such a blessing for me to have"met" so many kindred spirits through the internet; may we all be blessed as we find and follow the unique path that the Lord has for each of our lives.



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let's Stalk Wild Edibles!

Dear Friends,

We have been blessed with over 10 inches of snow in the past few days, so we have had to unpack the snowsuits to go out and play! Hopefully it's a little warmer where you are, and green things have begun to pop up all around. We believe that the Good Lord has placed these things here to nourish and cleanse our bodies after a winter of indoor living and heavier foods, and that we should learn to recognize and take advantage of them. Plus, they're free for the taking! How budget friendly can you get :) ?

We found a plethora of instructional videos on YouTube about locating, identifying, and using wild edibles, and thought we'd share a few with you to inspire you this spring. The flavor and intensity of nutrients are so highly superior to grocery store salads, even the organic ones!

My children really like watching Sergei Boutenko, so we thought you might, too~ Enjoy! (Oh yes, you may have to click the "Pause" button on the PlayList first)



Thursday, April 1, 2010

O April, Welcome Home!

O April, welcome home! The stirring earth
Is scrubbed and scoured, fresh clean with rain;
You are the hope of beauty and the birth
of life from death-come, welcome home again!

~Anne Mary Lawler

Dear Friends,

Mother Nature is playing her yearly April Fool's joke on us, pouring down rain, hail, sleet, and snow! Surely the earth is indeed being scrubbed and scoured by her efforts.

We have had a wonderful week of visiting with family, and last weekend we had the special treat of receiving a visit from dear Emily of "A Beautiful Life", and her beautiful little family. What a gift from God to have kindred friends! We hope to be able to do it again, and to someday meet many of our blogging friends.

Look at us glowing! :)

Emily's girls found Pink Street Elementary quite entertaining!

We also had a birthday celebration for this little cowboy, who turned three on Sunday~

March 31st was Mr. Graham's last day of work, which will leave him more time to seek out new employ (and to play with his children!). We are feeling blessed to be where we are at this point in our life; that something great is just around the corner.

May each you and your families feel the joy of spring, of new birth, and especially this time of celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.