Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Leafy Family Walk

 Dear Friends,

The rains and winds have been sending all the lovely autumn leaves to the ground, so we knew it was time to take a walk to enjoy them before they were gone. The only rules were that you had to scuffle through the leaves as much as possible, and you had to collect the nicest leaves for your nature journal.

Some of us decided to ride scooters, which it turns out make great leaf scoops if you drag them behind you!

The sun made stained glass out of the leaves.

Nothing is as satisfying as the scent and sound of crunchy leaves underfoot!

Looks like the neighborhood has a new batch of kittens!

And finally, a photo of a photographer to end our leafy nature walk.

Love to you,


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Art Museum

Dear Friends,

Last weekend we had planned to go for a nature walk to enjoy the colors, but Mother Nature had other plans! It was drizzly and not nice for a walk, so we went to the local art museum instead.

They were having a display of photographs featuring servicemen from the Vietnam Era, which made us grateful for all the sacrifices made by others so we can enjoy the freedoms we have.

There were a few flowers hanging on in the grounds,

And a few colorful trees, in spite of the rain.

We enjoyed the "wonder room" display  of various collectibles and natural objects.

Thank goodness there was a little spot for children to play in, and explore books on art.

There were many works of "modern art" that made us feel better about our own art skills, but there were also beautiful original portraits of early Americans and landscapes that made us want to practice more~

Overall, we enjoyed spending time in peaceful, beautiful surroundings that others had made to honor those who create art, which is truly a gift from our Creator.



Monday, October 23, 2017

Enjoying Autumn

Dear Friends,

Autumn is truly upon us! The leaves are turning beautiful colors, then flying off in the slightest breeze.

The crickets chirp more slowly and quietly, and the birds ready themselves for the cold days ahead.

The gooseberries are long gone. . . 

. . . and the spice bush berries are ripe and spicy!

May Mother Nature lure us outdoors for a few more sunlight days, before she wears a blanket of white.



Friday, September 22, 2017

How to Deodorize a Stinky House

Dear Friends,

When we moved into our new home, the combination of paint fumes (it had just been painted) and Heaven knows what, made me feel like I was suffocating, and I had to keep going outside just to get fresh air. The carpets had dog hair on them, so obviously had not been shampooed before we moved in, and we were already in before we realized this.

(Ginger the cat agrees that it was a little malodorous!)

We have finally gotten it to smell only faintly bad (when you're in a room with carpet), and I thought I would share with you some of the things I did, in case you need help deodorizing your own living space.

Firstly, I kept the windows open constantly (we had to go buy adjustable screens at the hardware store, since none of the windows had screens), and had fans facing outward, going all night and day. There are no screen doors, or I would have had them open as well. We bought deodorizing volcanic stones, deodorizing gels, LOTS of baking soda, peppermint and orange essential oil (to mix in the baking soda for the carpets), and a big box of Nag Champa incense. We bought a good used vacuum cleaner off of Craigslist and used it over and over again on every carpet.

(Hyrum approves of fresh-smelling homes)

After a few days of diligent use, the bad odors started to disappear. This was relatively inexpensive, and now I am not sick in my own home! Once our budget has recovered from the move, we will be purchasing a high-quality air purifier as well (which I highly recommend for everyone, since inside air is much more polluted than outside) to remove any allergens like mold and pet dander.

I hope that this information has been useful to you. Remember when burning incense, to keep it away from smoke detectors and children!



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Home Sweet Home

Dear Friends,

We are finally feeling somewhat settled in here in our new home, hanging up all of our beloved artwork and wall hangings, to make it more "homey" (and to cover the cracks in the walls).

We have been getting to know the nature in our yard, raising up a new batch of Monarch caterpillars from milkweed vines in the lawn, and discovering that Rose of Sharon seeds taste like fava beans. They're quite time-consuming to harvest, though!

Our cat Ginger has made a new "friend" in the neighborhood, who thinks that he belongs here now.

 We've named him "Puff," after the Dick and Jane kitten.

I hope that you have been enjoying your September. We keep our friends in the hurricane areas in our prayers, as well as those out West experiencing fires.


"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Beginnings

Hello, dear friends!

You probably thought I dropped off the edge of the earth, but here I am, alive and well. :)

We had to move quickly out of our home in Kansas City so the landlord could get it ready to sell, and ended up staying with friends for over a month while everything was in storage (long story!).

We finally found a home that is in town, but closer to where we were hoping to move, in the country. We've only been here a few days, so everything is still piled up and in a mess, but it's good to be in our own place again, even if it is temporary. Life is the great adventure!

I hope that you have all been doing well, and I will do my best to catch up on your blogs as soon as I am able.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Wild Recipes for You to Try

Dear Friends,

 It is high season for foraging greens, and I have put together a couple of videos (with the help of my daughters) with creative ways of getting them into your family's diet.

Here they are!

I hope you like them.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Three Birthdays in the Family

Dear Friends,

Happy June to you! We are still waiting on a job for Mr. Graham to enable us to move to the Ozarks. In the meantime, three of the girls have celebrated birthdays.

On May 31st, AnnaMarie and Rebecca celebrated their special day together. Audrey decorated their cake, that kind of looks like someone turned 207, instead of 20 and 7. :)

And today Audrey turned 18. Can you believe we have two adult children? How did that happen?

Audrey is a real foodie, so on her birthday we're always bound to have something fun. Boba tea is a favorite (of course with a sugar-free twist!).

I am always amazed to look back at birthday times and see how much the Lord has blessed me through the lives of my children. May I continue to mother them in such a way that they are prepared to go forth and start their own families with a firm foundation someday.