Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alongside Daddy

I am regretting not taking any pictures of something so natural, yet so precious. Daddy and son worked side-by-side today in building our firewood supply. Our son was so proud of himself for his hard work and it showed in the massive amounts of food he ate for lunch and dinner! Later, he got to ride in Daddy's truck after we picked it up from the repair shop. As a special treat, Daddy took him to a friend's house where he got to play with their boys. He was one sleepy little boy when I tucked him in and said prayers. Still, as I shut the door to the kids' room, he sang a sweet little song to himself and his sister and soon fell asleep.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Preggers, politics and sewing

Yes, I am pregnant, and thanks for all the prayers and congrats! I'm not sure what the Lord has in store for this pregnancy. I just take comfort in knowing that it is in His hands, whatever the outcome. Those who know me and know of my past miscarriages have offered me cautious or delayed congratulations. I say don't delay! A life has still been created! Even if I miscarry, I still have a child! That child will be waiting for me in the arms of Christ Jesus. That alone is enough for congratulations. :) I don't necessarily ask that you pray that I don't miscarry. I believe God has already made His decision whether or not I keep this wee one. I pray for the health of my womb and that if I do miscarry, I won't need another D&C.

I'm through with politics. I no longer wish to considered a Conservative (or Republican, or Independant, or Constitutionalist, or Libertarian, or whatever other camp is out there that I might fit into). I am first and foremost a God-Fearing, Christ-Adoring, Bible-Believing Christian and ALL my actions as a citizen of the United States of America should reflect that.

As for sewing, the bug bit me hard yesterday! I started working on a doll for my daughter's fabric doll house (yeah, I'm way behind on that). The doll is sewn, stuffed and painted. Today, I'll try to attach the hair and maybe make a dress for the poor, naked dear. I also made the cutest ladybug plush that I'm thinking of putting on Etsy (yes I have an account, but haven't put anything on it yet). My son loves it and thinks it's for his sister, though, so I'm debating. Last night, I started on a shift for my daughter for re-enacting. I'm hand-sewing most of it, with rolled hemmed ruffles on the sleeves and freeing gussets down the side. In the meantime, I've finished luceting the cord for hubby's hat and I'm knitting something out of bamboo for my sister, and perhaps one for Etsy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sewing Ideas

Print available at www.art.com

Sewing ideas are coming in like crazy! Before I fall asleep, I start dreaming up things to sew up. Stay tuned...hopefully I'll get some done and will post pictures. Are you sewing anything?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Figuring Out Wednesday

First, for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my son that a friend took at the latest re-enactment.

Also, here is a picture of my son playing with my friend's son. I'm the one holding the baby in the red cape. I'm wearing a wool Brunswick gown of the era. It is probably my favorite 18th century outfit. It features a button-up front, 3/4 with attached full-length sleeves and a silk-lined hood.
Now, back to the original premise of my post. I really need to figure out what to do about Wednesdays. I go like super-mom Mondays and Tuesdays so by the time Wednesday shows up, I'm tired and can't really seem to get a plan formed. Today has been one "force myself" after another. I feel better after some physical exertion outdoors by turning more of the garden by hand. Still, I just want to lump around the house. I feel like I waste a precious day where I could be getting some major things accomplished.
How do you manage your Wednesdays?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October in Photographs

My latest project is using this reproduction 18th century lucet to make a cord for a hat hubby is putting together for re-enacting. Using a lucet is a very relaxing, easy activity. It's great to keep idle hands busy while waiting somewhere or watching television.

My son was so thrilled to find out that he's finally tall enough to reach the pedals on his tricycle and actually pedal it around the driveway. Yes, it was cold enough for a parka that day and he insisted on wearing mommy's winter work gloves. Oh, and all those pine needles! We had a day of steady 30 mph winds and the woodlot next door has a lot of white pines. That combination made quite the mess of our yard! Oh, how we'd love to own that woodlot. It is a prayer of mine. Right now it belongs to the nursing home just down the road. They own it because their well houses (which I believe are no longer in use) are back in the woods where the springs are. However, they don't take care of it. The trees are in a horrible state. Many of them are dead, dying or have partially fallen down. There are great sections where it is dangerous to even walk back there. It is in need of a great cleanout. At the edge of the property is a grandfathered farm access road, which we have no problem keeping as a farm access road should we ever secure the lot. Oh what we could do with that lot.

Last week, Bubby's letter of the week was E. E for egg, so we hard boiled some eggs and decorated them by practicing writing the letter E. Most letters he prefers to write lower case, but E he likes upper case.

E is also for Ella, a friend of mine's daughter. For her birthday I drew this upon the envelope for her card. It was so nice to dabble is my artwork and creativity.

Work boots. We live in the country. Work boots are a must. Both Son and Daughter have a pair of real, waterproof work boots and they are their favorite footwear.

This is "Dud." Dud was drawn and named by my son a couple months ago, actually. He is actually my son's very first human-ish drawing. The mediums used were a concrete basement floor for the canvas and sidewalk chalk.






Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thinking Charlotte Mason

I started reading Charlotte Mason's series. It's going to take me a while. Unlike a novel, it contains way too many thoughts that I have to stop to mull over for a bit, and some things I need to reread a couple of times to either understand it or let it sink in.

I admit, I'm finding it overwhelming. To educate a child at home the way I desire (whether Mason or Montessori) requires a great deal of time and commitment. Charlotte Mason is firm on education being disciplined. I realized that it starts with me. While, yes, I can incorporate education into my daily life and thus continue with housekeeping while still educating my children, I find that next to impossible right now. There are just so many continual projects and things that need to be done in a day.

I am reminded in Charlotte Mason that my children ARE my career, my number one. I counter this by saying, "Yes, but it isn't very good for them to be raised in a dirty, cluttered house!" Balance, I suppose. Perhaps abandoning the internet for a while.

*As a side note, I do personally feel that internet, TV, electronics are NOT good for early education, though they can be assistants later. I have noticed that if I allow my children to watch TV while I prepare breakfast, they will not engage in imaginative play the rest of the day unless prodded and they tend to be more violent and short tempered with each other. They watch educational PBS shows, not stupid cartoons.*

A reform is needed. This is why I started "homeschooling" my son this year, to see where the kinks are, where improvements are needed. How much home education should be formal? How much should be informal? How much should be conducted in the "classroom?" How much should be "field study?" When should I stop when my son is getting frustrated? Why should I instill discipline to complete the task at hand?

Thank goodness it's coming up on winter when my chores are fewer and I can really study on this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Forward To Oranges



I'm looking forward to oranges. I usually only buy them when on sale, in season at the grocery stores, so it has been a while. Soon....soon.

Pray for Hubby, Please

Hello dear readers,

Please pray for my husband, Dave today (Wednesday). Tomorrow morning he has a hard-earned interview for a career he's been working very hard towards. Today, I am lifting him up in prayer and asking everyone I know to do the same. Tomorrow, I'm leaving it up to the Lord in faith.

Please pray that he in known at these gates and finds favor with the committee. Pray that he gets accepted. And join me in praise that he passed the test to get the interview and for his growth in the Lord.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cooking Through Stock-up Sales

You can get this print at http://www.art.com/

Wow, those countertops are almost exactly like mine! The blue "print" with stainless steel trim and matching backsplash is what I have, just a lighter, uglier blue. I love the more open countertops, though. I hate countertops cluttered with canisters and appliances. Mine are pretty cluttered right now, so after looking at this picture, I'll try to squeeze in some kitchen tidying today.

Lately, we've been having some great sales at the grocery store. They're the kind that are so good that you bulk up on the item. However, they're rather limited in variety, so I end up with a lot of one thing and not too much of anything else. Finding creative ways to cook the same meat is challenging. I'm finally at the tail end of the rolls of ground sausage (yesterday, I made sausage buiscuts and gravy). Now, I'm entering that rolls of ground beef phase. The added challenge is that hubby is rather fed up with pasta, so that rules out a large amount of recipes that use ground beef. On top of that, I have to make sure the kiddos are going to eat it, too. Too many Indian or Mexican dishes, and they won't have dinner at all! It's too spicy or too many complicated flavors for them. I'm not a huge casserole fan, but will give in if I find a decent recipe.

So, today I'm going to create a creamy soup with potatoes and ground beef. It may be a cheese soup and it might even have broccoli in it. It's a rainy day, so I know hubby will appreciate a soup.

As a side note, I'm an advocate for eating what's put in front of you when it comes to young children and mealtime. I'm not going to make boxed mac and cheese 4 times a week for picky eaters. I expect my children to eat good food and eat what I make. However, I also try to remember that foods taste differently to children. Their young tastebuds can only handle so much. Too many flavor combinations can be unappealing to them. Spicy foods, even if it isn't too hot for us may be too hot for them. Also, certain veggies, especially the green kind, can taste too bitter to them. Trying to incorporate their palates into your meal planning may make for a less stressful meal time.

The soup was a success. It turned out like a Cheeseburger Soup. Even my son ate two bowls of it! Here's what I did.

I put 1 tablespoon of butter in my pot and after it melted I added a pound of ground beef. I let that cook covered until no longer pink. I then added a handful of flour, salt and pepper to taste and then poured in some raw milk (if you don't use raw, use whole) and about a cup to cup and a half of water. In that I added some diced potatoes, some chopped red onion and one large garlic clove. I let that cook until the potatoes were tender and then I added some shredded cheddar cheese and colby cheese (about a cup of shredded cheese total). When that melted, I added a little sprinkling of parmesan cheese for interest. It was yummy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Room School

At the re-enactment site this past weekend was this very schoolhouse. It was open to look in and had a motion sensor recording that talked about the history of the schoolhouse along with the history of school in the 1890's. While over a hundred years in the future according to the era of the re-enactment, it was still neat to visit the schoolhouse.

It was empty when I ushered my children through the doors that so many children now long since deceased had passed through. They immediately took to the schoolhouse like it was familiar territory. I sat them at the two desks near the teacher where the two blond boys sit in the picture. The museum provides slates, chalk and sheepskin erasers. The two sat and drew on the slates the entire time the audio played. I couldn't help but do a little lesson with my son on the letter D and then wandered about erasing some inappropriate things someone had written on a few of the slates.

I mused how perhaps someday it would be neat to get my teaching degree and start a one room schoolhouse private school. Otherwise, I mused about if we had the extra land how neat it would be to recreate a small one to homeschool my kids in!

In the meantime, we live in an area rich with old schoolhouses. We live across the street from one! I like bringing my children to them just to see them and breathe the history.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What we've been up to lately...

Sorry that the images are out of sync. Here are some pics of what we've been up to lately here at Taigh Beag:

There is a frost advisory tonight so the herbs had to be harvested. Here is a layer of Stevia to be dried.
We also when to a re-enactment. My little boy loves riding in the wagon.

Sister, on the other hand, prefers to walk. Taking a picture of her constantly moving is impossible with a camera phone. If my husband asks anyone what he should get me for Christmas, I'd like a really good digital camera!


We love art in our house. Here is my daughter happily working on a paint with water.



My son has poster paints and loves to paint pictures of farm machinery like this combine.


Here they are at the re-enactment climbing on a fence. We didn't stay long. It was COLD and they don't really have proper cold weather gear. Daughter didn't seem to notice the chill, but my dear son was shivering.

My son wanted me to make a Play-doh pig for him, so I did and he placed it inside this pigpen.


Finally, a little sunshine! Here is my kitchen window. You'll see that bundle of herbs in the next picture:

Fennel, rosemary, sage, lavendar, winter savory


Horehound. I also have going in the drier oregano and marjoram.

The wild turkey visit our yard twice a day.











Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hedgehog Hunt and Red Peppers

You can find this print at www.art.com

The other day my son announced that he was going on a hedgehog hunt. With paper and pencil in hand, he marched to the picture window and pretended to see a hedgehog near the shed. As I enjoyed his imagination I remembered that I had a hedgehog garden figure on my kitchen windowsill. He was thrilled to have his own hedgehog to observe. I'm thinking of starting a running game of hiding the hedgehog in random places for him to find as he goes about his day to day activities.

What takes the cake, though, was my daughter found the little hedgehog and proceeded to carry it about the house. She dropped it at one point and I caught her looking it over as if it were real and possibly hurt after such a fall.

Well, I have a bag of red peppers that need to be pressure canned.

Monday, October 05, 2009

6-Hour Lazagna

You can get this print at www.art.com

This past weekend we visited with our friends in Pennsylvania. While some of the group went to a re-enactment, I stayed behind with the kiddos while my friend, her daughter and I made lazagna from scratch. It took 6 hours, but I'll get back to that in a minute.


First, we went to a farmer's market where we bought delectable treats from the Mennonites. Then, we stopped by a Mennonite farm and bought a few more things. I didn't get a chance to really buy anything at the farm because my kiddos were restless and my daughter pitched a tantrum. The poor Mennonite mother kept staring at my daughter like she was possessed or something. I decided not to let it bother me. After all, my daughter was completely out of her usual surroundings, routine and comfort zone and got very little sleep the night before. Under those circumstances, I'm sure even adults wished they could throw a tantrum like she did!


Back at my hosts' house, we proceeded to make mozzarella cheese from the raw milk I brought. You can find the recipe in this month's issue of Grit magazine. During the cheese-making, we decided to make a lazagna for our returning re-enactors. Lack of noodles and sauce in the pantry let us to the decision to make it completely from scratch. We three ladies made the mozzarella together. I made the ricotta. My friend's daughter made the sauce from my hosts' home-canned tomatoes and zucchini and she made the noodles. My friend made a carrot cake for dessert from the carrots in my hosts' garden. It took us 6 hours, but it was 6 hours of good old-fashioned, home-made fun.