Monday, January 28, 2013

How to be an Artist With Small Children. . .

 . . . (Or Why My Sketchbooks Will Never Sell for Millions)~

 Dear Friends,

A merry Monday to you! Today is warm enough for us to throw the windows open and go outside barefoot (and not feel like running in and soaking our feet in hot water afterwards). The Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, and Purple Finches have been singing their little hearts out with pure joy (and we don't have the heart to tell them that it's supposed to snow by the weekend!), and the daffodils are peeking up from the earth~ Truly a gift from the Lord.

I was going through my various and sundry sketchbooks recently, and had to laugh at all the "additions" to my drawings.

Can you see the purple "lightning" in this one?

The black scribble on this one is actually artistic!

No drawing is complete without a spider and turtle in the corner!

This is one is just one of many pages of just pure joyous expression~

Some drawings have actually managed to escape being added onto, and these look a little drab in comparison, don't you think?

Even though my artwork may not be perfect enough to be of value to the world, they have a special place in my heart, and I know I will cherish them even more when my little scribblers have all grown up into artists in their own right. Who knows, maybe we'll all make something amazing together someday!

I hope this brought a smile to you today. Cherish the days; they fly by!




"My life has been a continuous fulfillment of dreams. It appears that everything I saw and did has a new, and perhaps, more significant meaning, every time I see it. The earth is good. It is a privilege to live thereon." ~Liberty Hyde Bailey

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Evangeline!

 Dear Friends,

A certain funny little girl with freckles on her nose turned eight years old on Sunday. We are so thankful to have her sweet smile in our family. She keeps us hopping with endless questions and funny sayings, and we know that we are blessed by them!

 Her dessert of preference was a parfait made with greek kefir sour cream, banana sorbet, graham crackers, agave-sweetened gummy bears, and lots of coconut; yum!

There was a beautiful sunset that evening, which was the perfect way to end a happy day.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Discovering Nature at the Local Nature Center

 Dear Friends,

Our local Nature Center was holding a Birding Day last Saturday, and we decided that would be a great field trip for our family. Of course there were the normal assortment of reptiles and playing areas,


But the highlights were watching bird banding demonstrations, and a video presentation by a Mr. Timothy Barksdale of Birdman Productions You can watch some of his videos here

 The only downside of the presentation was when a titmouse opened up a gash in our lovely presenter's finger. She said that titmice were the most aggressive of all the birds that they band. :)

Here she is showing a recently-caught Downy Woodpecker, who didn't peck her.

As we were leaving to go home, Mr. Graham remarked that he thought working at a Nature Center would be my ideal job (other than homemaking, of course). He's not far off the mark! Playing with snakes and birds, and teaching others to love the wildlife around them would be a very rewarding way to spend the day.

Here's wishing you many homely adventures today,



"A love for the soil and all the pursuits of outdoor life is one of the healthful signs in a people. Our broad and diversified land affords abundant opportunity for the gratification of every rural taste, and those who form such tastes will never complain that life is losing its zest. Other pleasures pall with time and are satiated. We outgrow them. But every spring is a new revelation, every summer a fresh, original chapter of experience, and every autumn a fruition of hopes as well as of seeds and buds. Nothing can conduce more to happiness and prosperity than multitudes of rural homes. In such abodes you will not find Socialists, Nihilists, and other hare-brained reformers who seek to improve the world by ignoring nature and common-sense. Possession of the soil makes a man conservative, while he, at the same time, is conserved."  ~Edward P. Roe, Nature's Serial Story, 1884

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Around the Cottage

 Dear Friends,

A happy day to all of you! We're enjoying some balmy weather here in Missouri, which is great for getting outside and breathing fresh air (never mind all the mud coming back in the house!). The field behind our house has been filled with Canada geese, mowing the grass as well as a flock of sheep. The grass should be well-fertilized next spring!

Have you been working on any New Year's Resolutions this year? One of mine was to write down all of the songs that I have drifting around in my head, so other people can actually play them; AnnaMarie caught me in the act, while taking a break from housework~ 

 Who knows, we may be the next Big Thing! ;)

Speaking of big things, we actually have a schedule for our schooling, which started up for us New Year's Day. So far, everyone's doing well, adjusting to checking off specific assignments instead of picking up information here and there.

Here are some of the books we're using; nice and simple!
(Note that AnnaMarie is studying from a driver's education manual~ My Baby Doll is growing up way too fast!)

 We of course have left ourselves lots of room to be creative and play, which seems to be what we're best at, after all~

We'll leave you with a beautiful sunset, and a wish for all good things to come your way.




Prayer for a Little Home

God send us a little home,
To come back to, when we roam.

Low walls and fluted tiles,
Wide windows, a view for miles.

Red firelight and deep chairs,
Small white beds upstairs-

Great talk in little nooks,
Dim colors, rows of books.

One picture on each wall,
Not many things at all.

God send us a little ground,
Tall trees stand round.

Homely flowers in brown sod,
Overhead, thy stars, O God.

God bless thee, when winds blog,
Our home, and all we know.

~Florence Bone

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Wintry Walk in the Woods

 Dear Friends,

A happy New Year to all of you! We love the anticipation of good things that a new year brings. Of course we may not end up achieving all the things we think we will, but having a set of goals helps us to focus on that which we truly value, and reminds us what our values truly are.

We woke to a beautiful, sunny crystalline morning on New Year's, and took the opportunity to go to the woods by our house and explore. Won't you come along?

Where there were thousands of honeysuckle berries and rosehips in fall, now there are but few~

A graceful ballerina deer passed through on toe shoes~

And someone with a striped, bushy tail was busy exploring the creek during the night!

The resident raccoon loves climbing partway up this log to eat snails and other goodies.

We had thought this burrow belonged to the raccoon, but only dog tracks were near the entrance.

 Here are the remains of a bird nest that fell out of a tall tree earlier in the year. Perhaps the birds will reuse the polyester fluff for this year's home.

 The cattails along the creek are all sporting the most cunning white berets. They stand like soldiers guarding a fairy palace!

A hungry squirrel searched here for his dinner~

And who left the clumsiest, biggest tracks of all? You guessed it! I wonder if any animals followed my tracks and wondered what I was up to?

A tree sparrow models the fluffy coats all the birds are wearing this winter~

~While the oaks are still sporting their crumbled leaves, in defiance of winter's cold.

Now we've returned back to home, sweet home, where our own maples are quite stunning in their white silk stockings!

May this year bring us all plenty of hope, faith, and charity, sufficient for each day's journey.

Blessings to all,