Rhythm..where for art thou?

I am trying to create a rhythm in our home. The littles really need one and I know it will help our days flow a lot better. And yes, I have talked about this before and it never happened. I am praying that this is the year of rhythm.

 I have created a craft/project envelope. Both the girls love to do crafts and ask for one almost every day. So I am spending Sunday afternoon finding simple, fun crafts for them to work on. My first goal is to find things that we can do with supplies on hand. If I do have to make a purchase than I make sure it is in the budget. If not, I move on to something else. Then I do all the precutting or whatever else needs to be done ahead so our craft can move smoothly. See, if I try to do it on the fly we all wind up frustrated and you really don’t want to see the non-cool side of our crafting…it ain’t pretty.

One of my favorite resources for finding awesome crafts and projects of all kinds is The Crafty Crow. There you will find wonderful ideas posted almost daily: as well as archives to pull ideas from as well. Fair warning though, you will find a lot more blogs to add to your list of must reads. I also follow Wee Folk Art for wonderful ideas. Last week we made the stained glass hearts Kimara shared on her blog.





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 Each grandparent will receive one this week in their Grandparent Envelope. More on that project later.

So, on our list of to do this week,thanks to The Crafty Crow, are:

Painted Paper Doilies from 4 Crazy Kings

Torn Paper Hearts from Mama Bears Cub House

Water Color Initials from Blissfully Domestic

And this last one is one I have in my own head

Water Color resist note cards. I plan on drawing heart of different sizes in white crayon on some cardstock note cards.Then the girls will use water colors to paint the cards. They will get a surprise when the hearts show up as they paint!

There are only four projects this week because Tuesday we have friends coming to play and Thursday we are out at our homeschool co-op all day.

Wish me luck! I really want to bring some peace to our home. J


Unschooling in our House (ATM)*

*ATM= At the moment

For the last few minutes Emi and Ashlyn have been going through an animal encyclopedia discovering all kinds of cool animals. The book came out as a result of them watching a Diego episode where he helps save a whale shark.

We have looked up a couple of different types of birds. One in particular was the penduline tit. We discovered that they make really cool nests. We talked about Eurasia and looked at pictures of how the land mass looks from space. I told Emi that like the penduline tit, other birds build different types of nests. She found some pictures in the book and remarked “You’re right mom different birds do build different nests.” We learned that the fairy wren from Austrailia is a cooperative bird. When the babies are born older siblings help and even other birds that live near by.

Earlier in our day SiSi picked out books on Amelia Earhart. She became interested in learning more about her after watching Night At the Museum 2. Aly checked out a couple of more books about Marilyn Monroe. This has been her interest for a while.

Ashlyn helped me clean up a bit even earlier in the day. Z has continued her parrot talent and has repeated words today such as “smoothie” and “bed(bread)”. Her favorite thing is to climb up in anyone’s empty lap and say very loudly and directly in your face “EAD” which translates “READ”

And various other things that have happened today include but are not limited to

baking pretend cakes

playing with horses…sound effects included

jumping on the bed

building walls with building blocks


sibling fighting/sibling resolutions

playing with gnomes

finger puppet plays

watching a series on the Science channel called Build it Bigger(really cool!)

and if I am really lucky, when I get off of the computer I can add sewing to this list.

Unschooling ROCKS!!!

Love is in the Air

And over at Wee Folk Art they are having a Valentines give away!

There are multiple ways to gain a chance at winning a kit to make Valentines napkins and napkin rings, generously offered by Prairie Point Junction. I purchased my first wool felt from PPJ. It is wonderful and their customer service is great.

If you stop by Wee Folk Art be sure to stay a while and check out all the other wonderful craft ideas they have shared. Several of their patterns were used for gifts in our home last year.

Good luck!

How Do I Love Thee?


Let me count the ways.

I love you when I crave hummus and you whip those beans into shape.

I love you when there are onions lining up to try and make me cry and you chop them down to size.

I love you when you chop the kale to pieces so I can add it to my green smoothie without fear of blowing up yet another blender.

And I loved you today when I made cabbage and potato soup. If it were not for you my knuckles would have been raw from hand shredding 4cups worth of cabbage.

Cabbage and Potato Soup

(recipe found at http://southernfood.about.com)

1/2cup chopped onion

3tablespoons butter

3tablespoons all purpose flour

4cups coarsely shredded cabbage

1/2cup chopped carrot( I didn’t have any)

3cups vegetable broth

1/2tsp salt or to taste

1/8 tsp ground black pepper(I added more)

3cups diced potato(peel on…or off if you prefer)

1can (14.5oz) evaporated milk

minced parsley

dash paprika

In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, heat butter over medium low heat; add onion and cook until golden in color. Stir in flour until well blended. Add cabbage and carrots along with broth, salt,pepper, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently;reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 20minutes. Add milk. Heat through, but do not boil. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, as needed. Sprinkle each serving with a little parsley and a dash of paprika.

Unlike my previous cauliflower soup fail, this soup was a success.

I would like to thank my mom for my Cuisinart Handy Prep. She gifted me with a brand new one after I asked if I could borrow the one she has in storage. And I am sooooo glad she did.


Following my Instinct

When I had our first daughter I was just 20 years old. Very clueless and so not in tune with my mama intuition. There are times when I regret not being able to hear that voice in my heart that said that something was not alright. In the past years though, my voice of intuition has become stronger. I can hear it very well most days but sometimes, like yesterday, it gets stifled a bit because I second guess myself.

Our appointment went well. The doctor was nice, answered all of our questions, but did one thing that bothered me. He didn’t find it as necessary as I did to get Emi’s medical records from her previous surgery and her hospital stay. He made a guess at what the problem might have been. We left with a folder of information about surgery and the promise of a call from the scheduling nurse of when our surgery date will be.

Fast forward to this morning at 3am when I am awoken by something from a dream. Immediately I know that I needed to request that her medical records be obtained and reviewed by the doctor and the anesthesiologist. No doubt my mama intuition was screaming loud and clear.

Yes, I should have persisted yesterday. I had already stated clearly that we were refusing any versed prior to surgery and requested that she be held for 24hr observation following surgery. I just didn’t push the records issue like I should have. So, today I will call and make those arrangements. I will advocate for my daughter and I will not ignore my intuition. It’s there for a reason.

Thank you for the prayers and support!

The Beat of My Heart


Can you hear the pace at which my heart is beating? It’s not quite as fast as a hummingbirds but the closer we get to our appointment with the ENT the faster it gets.

She that sweet little one there? She is supposed to have surgery to remove her tonsils and adnoids. It will be her second surgery in her life. The first one was for dental reasons before she was even 2yo. It resulted in a scary night at home, a trip to the ER and an overnight stay in which she had more steroids in her system than I would have liked. Of course the result of not having them was not one I wanted to experience.

Her throat swelled to the point that she was having trouble breathing. She had a reaction to something. They don’t know what.

I try to not to think about the what ifs. I am trying to pray through this but I keep feeling uneasy. I am praying that tomorrow after talking with the surgeon I will feel better. I am praying I can be proactive and that he will hear our requests and honor them. I am praying that they will carefully review her medical records so they can make an informed decision.

I am praying that all will be well. I must be at peace with this before we move forward. This isn’t just a simple procedure. I know they do this everyday but they don’t do it everyday with MY child.

Please pray that we will be heard and respected.

Please pray that we will know what to do and be at peace.

This mama’s heart is about to beat out of her chest. 



Hand made Love!

Each year as I come upon gift giving occasions I do two things. I try to really think hard about a gift that would be special for whom I am gifting too and then I try to either make it by hand or find someone who can.

I am also lucky enough to have people in my life that make things for us as well as shop handmade shops that we direct them too. I get a total thrill at drawing someone else into the world of handmade.

So here is a list of shops that we did business with this year. No kickbacks are to be had here. They don’t know I’m doing this. All but one don’t even know I exist.

Wishes and Whimsies

 Out of the Door

Magnolia Girls Tutu’s

Green Mountain Wee Woolies

Wood Wrex

Santa Barbara Crafts

A Letter of Apology to the Pioneer Woman

Dear Ree,

You do not know me but I stalk read your blog daily and have on occasion left a comment. A day or so ago you shared 4 of your favorite soup recipes. I LOVE soup. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the process of making it, the aroma’s the come forth as it is simmering on the stove or maybe it’s just because when I fix soup for supper there are less dishes to do. As soon as I saw the cauliflower soup recipe I added cauliflower to my grocery list. In fact I added ingredients from all the soup recipes because as luck life would have it I was going grocery shopping the next day.

As I tucked the cauliflower away in the frig yesterday I envisioned my soup making escapade I had planned for the next day. After all I was totally inspired by your post with all it’s beautiful pictures and it’s wonderful narration of each step. It was going to be beautiful.

Of course this is my life and with five kids, three of them 5yo and under running around nothing goes quite like I envision it….EVER.

First I didn’t have my camera. It’s in the van where I left it after a trip to the local antique store. And since it is cold enough to freeze parts that should never be frozen,and my older girls weren’t awake to send outside, I let my picture taking idea fade. No worries I thought, I will press on.

All of the dicing and chopping went well. The butter was melting beautifully in my new dutch oven and I was feeling rather proud of myself since I had, so far, made no mistakes. That is until I put the celery in before I put the onion in. No big deal I thought it will be ok. While the onion and celery were browning I finished up the rough chopping of the cauliflower. Then as the instructions said I put the cauliflower in the pot,covered it and set the timer for it to cook 15mins. At that moment someone needed me for something and figuring I had time I walked away from the stove.

Eight minutes later I’m back. I know it’s been eight minutes because the timer on the microwave read 7:00. All is well until I reread the directions again. Apparently I was supposed to turn the heat down very low. When onions,cauliflower, celery and fresh parsley cook together on high they can become a dark color which is not the color you want them to be. If they are dark in color they also have this not so good burnt taste. Not the good burned marshmallow taste but the bad burnt toast taste. I’m sure you have no clue what I am talking about because I am pretty sure that anyone that has a cookbook has not ever burned anything, much less cauliflower,onions, celery and parsley.

Anyway, I didn’t feel that all was lost yet. I turned down the heat and continued on my way without any other mishaps. Although I’m thinking now that maybe another mishap would have improved the soup or at the very least given me good cause to just dump the whole pot down the drain. Once the milk mixture was added I knew that there was no way that I could look at this soup and see it as beautiful. There was no creamy whiteness to it, just this muddy brown color. Still, on I went. I added the salt, let it simmer a few more minutes and then ladled some into my bowl. It didn’t taste terrible, I had had worse. It definitely improved a bunch when I added a ladle spoon full of sour cream to it. I knew I was going to be the only one eating this soup though…not even my 5yo who eats everything I make liked it. 

So, my apologies. Here you are in all your wonderfulness sharing your childhood recipes for us in cyberspace to make and share with our families and I go and make a brown, burnt toast tasting mess of it. I would like to say that I won’t do it again but I can’t. I know I will try to make this again, to redeem myself, and it may or may not turn out. Until then I will put the left overs in freezer bags and try to forget about this disaster.


JoAnn(future author of disasters in the kitchen)

p.s. Pet Charlie for me! 🙂