Monday, February 23, 2015

Only three weeks!

And we will be planting the garden!
C'mon spring, we have been waiting for you for a long time.
These pictures are of the old apricot trees next to our stone
house three years ago, they bloomed and produced apricots
 that year, but haven't since.  Apricots in our area usually
freeze so we enjoy them just every 7 years on average. 
Today the weather is very cold, we aren't supposed to get
above freezing.  It's hard to believe we'll be planting the
garden in 3 short weeks.  I think we can survive until then...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Walk around the farm

We all love living out in the country,
and today I thought I'd share a few of
our animals with you!  The three oldest
boys and us all have calves, and we have
a few miniature horses and ponies,
as well as a bunch of barn cats,
chickens, and one scruffy dog, Daisy.

For every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are mine.
Psalm 50:10-11

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mom's Valentine's Tea

Miss E is ready for tea!
My mom invited us, my Grandma, and my sister
to her dining room for a Valentine's tea last week.

She used lovely green depression glass, mostly
in the cameo ballerina pattern for our tea party.

The dinner plates had beautiful pink roses.

~The ladies in our family~

I just love this tea pot!

My mom had a little bouquet at each place setting,
and then we got to take the flowers home at the end.

We had a great time together, thanks Mom!
Joining Tea Time Tuesday again!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why I like home school

There are several things I like about home school-
one of which is the relaxed atmosphere.
Mr. AJ here, loves his morning coffee-
(don't worry, it's not stunting his growth,
and I only let him have one cup)
and home school provides him with
plenty of time to sip his coffee while he
works on his math or handwriting. (:
I also enjoy taking the kids on field trips.
One day last week we took off and visited
one of our old local courthouses and saw
the monuments and statues around it.
This week we learned about Frederic
Remington, who lived in our area for awhile
when he was young.  I have lots of plans
for visits to other local museums and
historical sights this spring.
I also love the fact that the kids have lots of time
to just be kids.  They don't come home at 4:00 in
the afternoon, tired out and grumpy from being at
school all day.  DJ, below, saved up his money and
bought a four wheeler a couple weeks ago.  He is
loving it, and now he has plenty of time to ride it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Encouragement in Parenting

The following verses have encouraged me in parenting
lately, so I thought I'd share them with you in case you
need to hear them too!  (We've had such warm days we
enjoyed a supper down at the fire pit a couple nights ago).
"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.
For I tell you that their angels in heaven
always see the face of my Father in heaven."
"What do you think?  If a man owns a hundred sheep,
and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine
on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?"

"And if he finds it, I tell you the truth,
he is happier about that one sheep than about
the ninety-nine that did not wander off."

"In the same way your Father in heaven
is not willing that any of these little ones
should be lost."
~Jesus, in Matthew 18:10-14~

Monday, February 9, 2015

True Love

Happy Valentine's Week!
Miss E and I had a little tea party for Valentine's,
using our pink and red transferware.  We enjoyed
a gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free strawberry
shortcake along with our tea.  It was actually quite good!
These food allergies can be a challenge...

We had a 'lovely' time!  The little demitasse size tea cups
are just right for her, so I'm glad I started collecting them
many years ago.  This week she used one showing our
capitol building and other historic buildings.  I used my
favorite transferware teacup, Old Britain Castles.

Valentine's day is about showing love to our neighbor,
and some of the ways we do that are through tea parties,
chocolate, cards and roses.  But love is a whole lot more
than a party once a year, isn't it?

'Love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all our soul
and with all your mind.'
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it:
'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Have you heard the story of the real man, Valentine?
Here's how the story goes~
He was a priest in Rome, who helped the Christians
who were being persecuted under the emperor Claudius II.
He was eventually imprisoned and beaten with clubs,
then beheaded for his faith on February 14, 269.
He showed love and care for his fellow Christians
even though he knew it could mean his own death.
That sounds like true love for your neighbor to me.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I'm joining Sandi's Valentine's Tea party this week-

Friday, February 6, 2015

How about that hair?

Many people ask me about how I do Miss E's hair and
if it's hard, etc.  So I thought I'd do a post about it to fill
you all in on the process!  I am by no means an expert,
so if you know any tips or tricks I'd love to hear them.
Her hair never has the "slicked down" look, it always
has the "my curls are starting to get loose" look, so if
anyone can help me out there, let me know!

First of all, I wash Miss E's hair about every 3-4 days, but
I don't use shampoo!  I use a moisturizing conditioner only,
and my favorite is the Herbal Essences Hydralicious brand.
Every few weeks I will use a little Pert Plus moisturizing
shampoo if it seems like her hair is getting some build up or
is a little dirty from playing.  After I get her hair wet in the tub,
I work in the conditioner with my hands and do some finger
detangling.  This just takes a couple minutes.  Then I let it set
on her hair for about 5-10 minutes while she plays in the tub,
then we rinse it out.  Below is a photo of the products we use.

After she's out I work in some leave in conditioning cream,
followed by a little curling custard.  Both are Cantu products
which I like.  Everybody has a different opinion on what products
are best but these seem to be working ok for us.  Miss E has very
tight and small curls and her hair dries out pretty quickly.

Once the creams have been worked in, her hair looks a little
bit white from the shea butter, but it kind of melts away after
awhile.  Now it's ready to style.  I don't ever try and comb it
all at once, that would be pretty much impossible.  But as I'm
styling I will comb small sections at a time to detangle as I go.
This time I tried something new, box twists.  It took me about
an hour or so to complete, but hopefully it will last several days.

Miss E does a great job of sitting still while I work,
especially if there is something to entertain her, like
a cartoon or this time she was eating her "ice cream",
which is really Italian ice because of her milk allergy.

Sorry these are a little blurry, our house is quite dark
at night and Miss E doesn't hold still very long!
The twists turned out pretty cute.  They are basically
little ropes, and they don't even need a tie on the end,
you just twist the hair around itself and it holds together!

I really enjoy doing Miss E's hair, it's lots of fun
to come up with new ideas.  I'm glad she enjoys it too!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mothering isn't for the weak, or maybe it is...

This morning I am home from church with a sick little girl,
so I have a few minutes to write while she plays with her
kitchen and watches Winnie the Pooh.  I know mothering
lots of children has been the theme of my posts lately,
but that's because it's been the theme of my life lately!
(Oh, now she's on to something new, mopping the
windows with my Swiffer.)  So anyways, where was I,
oh yes, mothering...

I have been feeling so weak regarding raising children lately.
I don't have all the answers for how to help my child who
is struggling, or how to help my child who has health issues,
or my child who is sad about his birthfamily.  I get so tired.
(Now she's sitting by the woodstove, warming her feet...)

But maybe when I am weak, that's when I'm strongest-
if I remember to rely on the Lord and His strength throughout
the day.  I know that on the mornings when I ask the Lord
to help me that day, even while I'm still lying in bed,
the day goes so much better!  (Now she's back to Winnie
the Pooh, good.)  This morning I was reminded of this song,
I think I need to add it to my music playlist-

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He'll carry us when we can't carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

~Steven Curtis Chapman and Jerry Salley~

Things go so much better when I am relying on Him,
so maybe it is true, Mothering is for the weak?

(Pictures are of DJ, who is playing basketball this winter)

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