Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Beautiful Day, and Another Beautiful Gift

 Dear Friends,

A happy day to you! We are praying for all who have been affected by tornadoes and other disasters lately, and are very grateful for the gift we are given each day of safety and peace.

The sun has finally come out, and we are enjoying something that we have not yet experienced yet in Missouri; the sound of wind rushing through the leaves. Our apple tree is blossoming out back, showing promise of future fruit. The dogwoods around town are simply gorgeous now, but we are grateful to have a little apple tree to enjoy (and a peony which is about to bloom!).

We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday, dressed in our Sunday best~

Our church was going to throw away these tissue paper flowers from a party, and we brought them home and created instant giant "magnolia" blossoms out of them!

We found a mess of mustard garlic and nettles in the woods, and cooked them with mashed potatoes~ Yum!
(Google thinks I look better sideways)

 Frankie and the girls have been creating snaileries all around the house with the snails that are everywhere~

And a pair of robins have decided to set up housekeeping in a wreath hanging on our front stoop!

We were so blessed to be the recipient of a giveaway from The Fairy Glade, out of England. It's not every day we receive a package of Royal Mail!

We love the beautiful post cards and stickers. . .

. . . And a hand-knit bell brooch pin that is so springy and sweet! Thank you, Devina!

Over and over we feel overwhelmed with gratitude for all of our wonderful blog friends that we never would have met if not for the wonders of the internet. We thank all of you for your sweet friendship and support, and we pray for you, too.

May you all be blessed today with peace and joy.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Day Before Easter!

Dear Friends,

The skies have been cloudy for the past few days, but they haven't put a damper on the joys of springtime and the celebration of new life!

We do our Easter baskets the Saturday before Easter, to help the children separate the pagan from the religious. :)

This year, even the Tall Dolls had baskets of their very own!

The dolls had a lovely tea with hat-shaped cakes and pizzas~

And we have been  attempting to imitate God's glorious creations. . . ~

. . . with our watercolor paints~

 . . . And working on our family's first book, "Spanish for Mormons"~

Yesterday we found a special package on our doorstep. Have you ever seen a box glowing with love? This one was! It was from our dear blog friend Linnie of The Butt'ry and Book'ry, and inside were seeds from her farm and a beautifully-decorated goose egg that she painted. Thank you, Linnie; it will become a treasured heirloom!

We hope you are enjoying this day, whether sunny or gray!



Easter Week 
See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices;
Fields and gardens hail the spring;
Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,
While the wild birds build and sing.

You, to whom your Maker granted
Powers to those sweet birds unknown,
Use the craft by God implanted;
Use the reason not your own.
Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,
Each his Easter tribute bring-
Work of fingers, chant of voices,
Like the birds who build and sing. 
by Charles Kingsley

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Special Book Review~ "Wren Bay" by Clarice Fox-Hughes

Dear Friends,

Last year my friend Clarice wrote a book based on her blog, Storybook Woods. I was intrigued by it and wanted to read it right away, but thought I'd wait until after the move, when I was settled enough to really do it justice.

I finally ordered and read Wren Bay~ The Story of Making a Home, and must say it was the best book I've read in a long, long time! Anyone who knows Clarice knows that she has a heart of gold, and she put her whole book into making this book. It has all the wonderful things that we love: homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, Mary Frances books, making things by hand, farming, wild edibles, herbs, French fashions, and faith in God (In fact, I had a book idea for something similar, which shows how much we are on the same wave length!).

Wren Bay, the main character, is a newly married young woman, whose husband has been called to fight in World War I. Wren was raised in Boston, but finds herself the mistress of her husband's farm with all its blessings and challenges. Her favorite saying is "A chance, not a loss," which means that we should seek for the blessings in any trial and grow from having had the experience.

Wren is delightful, sweet, and godly; always willing to learn and grow and help out others. Her husband, Devlin, wants her to move back to Boston while he is away, fearing that the work will be too much for her, but she rolls up her sleeves and does all she can to make her new house her own home.

Throughout the book, she writes in a "blessing book" that Devlin gave her. Each night she thinks of something that blessed her that day, and writes in her book to remember how blessed she is. At the end of each chapter is a recipe that goes along with both the story and her blessings.

That is all I will say about the story for now, but I will say that it has inspired me anew in my homemaking, to put my own "stamp" on everything I love. If you love the simple, yet elegant things in life, you will love this book.

My blessing for tonight is Wren Bay. :)



"It is nice to be able to buy what you want, but there is little satisfaction in it. When you make something yourself, you own it. You see a part of yourself in whatever you have put your hand to, and are better for it. That does not happen when you buy things."

~Wren Bay

Monday, April 18, 2011


Dear Friends,

Thank you for the birthday wishes! I wish I could give all of you a big squeezy hug! :) I had to laugh looking at my last post today~ Right after I posted we discovered a flood in our basement from a broken pipe, creating quite the scamper! It was yet another "Little House" moment; Laura would have been proud of us as we handed the towels down the line to sop up and then wring out for more sopping (or is it swabbing?)! We were ever so thankful for our water storage, which we put to use the next day until the plumber could come make repairs.

Now we just have to wait for the septic cleaner to empty the tank, as the flooding caused a stinky backup in the basement~ peeeeewww! Laura would have been grateful she had outdoor plumbing as a girl. :)

I had to share with you my little story of serendipity~ I found a book about Marjolein Bastin (the Dutch artist) in our local library last week, and discovered that she has a home just north of Kansas City. Her book was so inspiring to me that I felt like we should drive by and see if we could visit, or at least see her prairie land that she is restoring. The next day I found a soap dispenser with her artwork on it at the local thrift store, and then my mother-in-law gave me a birthday present in a Marjolein Bastin gift bag that matches exactly! Someone is trying to tell me something, I think!

We have been enjoying warmer weather today, which has been nice, since we thought it might freeze our garden a couple of nights ago. Yesterday we discovered a humongous patch of wild garlic that would be big enough to share with all of you~ pesto, anyone? We are loving all of the surprises popping all over, and hope that you are making lots of new discoveries, too.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrating my Birthday at Home

Dear Friends,

Good morning to all of you! We're getting lots of rain here in Kansas City, which is such a blessing for the garden we put in. I'm so thankful that we're getting rain instead of snow, which is usually what I got for my birthday in Idaho! :)

Audrey made us a lovely birthday pudding with strawberries, tapioca, and kefir (she cooked the tapioca by itself, then added the kefir to keep the bacteria alive.).

Mr. Graham surprised me with a beautiful lily and rose bouquet that smells heavenly!

We're spending today at home, playing with the chickens and hanging up the suet, thistle seeds, and hummingbird feeders that I bought myself with my birthday. I also bought a big old china cupboard to use as an art cupboard, which I will share with you after we get it fixed up and painted nice.

Some chickens are more photogenic than others!

Frankie says he's going to write a book for me when he's bigger. It will be about Jesus and be called "I Know I'm Superman!" :)
Each day this week, we have noticed something new growing and blooming. The lilacs, apples, and dogwoods are out now, and it is dangerous for me to drive while ogling everything!
The poke in our yard is finally coming up~

 And the grapevines on the fence are leafing out, too~

Our front yard is covered with violets and dandelions (which we have been picking and making muffins out of). In Southeast Idaho, violets are very rare and we never picked any that we saw. Now I'm weeding them out of my lettuce; who would have thought?

We found this heart in our front yard, too~ Love is everywhere you find it!

A birthday is a wonderful time for reflecting on one's life purpose, and for writing down ideas and goals for achieving that purpose. This year I am going to focus on beginning to write down all the books, songs, poems, stories, etc. that have been floating around in my head forever, and start publishing them for real. :) I feel very blessed to be given another year of life on this beautiful earth, and am so grateful to be sharing it with my sweet family, and you!

May you have a wonderful day.

Blessings and love to all,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

We Love "The Storybook Home Journal"!

Dear Friends,

Graciousness. . . Elegant Economy. . . Inspirational. . . All of these words describe a beautiful publication that we love to enjoy while enjoying the great Outdoors!

 The Al Young family, who lives near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain in Utah, have created a truly magical world for themselves, which they share with us through their "Storybook Home Journal", as well as through cds of original and olden day music that they have created. We discovered their family when they were featured in "Victoria Magazine", several years ago, and have been in love ever since!

The magazines are each based on a particular book, such as "Little Women" or "Emma", and ideas are given to help make that book come alive in our homes. They have a blog, too, with more inspiring ideas:

The whole family is very talented in the fine arts, and have many beautiful prints and other items for sale at their family website. If you are looking for a godly resource to add to your enjoyment of good books, you will not be disappointed by "The Storybook Home Journal"!

Evangeline has been inspired to make a fairy dwelling today~

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

~Philipians 4:8

Monday, April 4, 2011

The First Flowers of Spring (and Chicks and Rabbits)

 Violets taste as good as they look!

 Greetings, dear friends!

We have been enchanted by our first spring in Missouri, with Magnolia, cherry, apricot, and pear trees all abloom.

Pink and White Perfection!

Not to mention the yellows of forsythia, dandelions, and daffodils!

Mr. Graham surprised us with a dozen chicks last weekend; We found a tick on Tasha and decided we needed tick control!

And we have been finding rabbits everywhere, both pretend and real~
 This wild rabbit was resting comfortably in the Grandparents Graham's back yard~

(Don't mind the yam in the background, hee hee!)

Our little peas and greens are coming up, and we have a few herbs to make a potted garden (we really miss our herb garden in Idaho!)~

We feel so blessed by your friendship, and visiting with you makes the world seem a little cozier, somehow! You all are so creative and talented, and give so much love to your families. May you be blessed with strength and peace to continue on as you do.



A Prayer in Spring  
by Robert Frost
OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.