Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goings On at Marvel Hill

This bird flew in when the door was open and tried to get out through a closed window
Good thing for Zachary's quick hands!

Zack dreamed up and built himself a gun rack.
("Catch 'em Alive Jack" is making manly impressions)

Lots of Dandilions right now.  The girls play with them like they're little flower gentle-folk.

Clay made my necklace!

Anyone who says overalls aren't girly, don't realize that real femininity is difficult to conceal :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seeing Double

Beautiful Water Color by Xenia Katheryn

Beautiful Children by an Amazingly Creative God!

I don't know if you took a close-up look at K.T.'s artwork before this post, but it is now hanging happily on my living room wall, matted in red and sporting a white frame
(on my yellow wall).
I absolutely LOVE it!  
It makes me smile every time I pass by it, or stop to study it.

I have always been on the giving end of commissioned art, and
drawn lots of children over the years (I'm not sure I've ever drawn all six of my own, though this inspires me).
NEVER have I received a caricature of my own children by another artist!
This is SO FUN!

*Note:  my sister Mattie Grace has drawn several renditions of my children before Bryce, but none large enough to hang on the wall.
Mattie is an incredibly talented artist and I hope she'll paint my kiddos one day.  If she does, her artwork too, will have a  prominent place in m living room:-)

Okay now, here's a piece of useless trivia that I thought some of you would enjoy 
(especially YOU K.T.)
Some of you may remember that Xenia Katheryn (also known here as K.T.) surprised me with her subject matter.
I could have not been more delighted, but was especially tickled that the children actually HAVE the clothes she painted them wearing! When I saw this I really wanted to get them all dressed up and take a picture to match the pose she painted.

Today I did.
K.T.'s painting was not commissioned from this picture, 
this picture was inspired by her painting. HA!

I couldn't believe that the children went along with me on this.  
It's actually true that Lina has sunglasses like the ones K.T. painted, and we have that book too 
(did you know that Xenia?)
but... one doesn't hope to get ALL the props right on the same day,
in the same State,
...before the children outgrow their clothes.

Today was the first time the boys have worn these Fleeces,
but yes, they were in my possession before the artwork was born.

Anyhow, I guess "YES way!"

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Colorado...

I can see those wonderful place names on the Feedjit.  It makes me homesick for you dear and wonderful women!
I am very tired tonight.  Can't begin to say how much fun I am having living in the woods here - even without and indoor shower and toilet.  It seems like the whole day is full of chores: coffee on; oatmeal on; Bryce fed; coffee off; oatmeal turned down; breakfast for Dad; dish up food for kiddos; solid Food for Bryce; coffee for Dad; wash up kiddos; school; bread-making; diaper-changing; more coffee for Dad; Lunch for kiddos; Lunch for Dad: and on and on (with Dad-care being a common {and happily tended to} theme).

I like my days being filled this way.  It feels very right.  Very real and tangible.  I see the goals, they loom immediately before me and require attention now.  Always and ever "now".  Once one thing is completed, there is another, and another...
Only by sheer willpower do I manage to steal an hour for fort-building, or tree trimming, or garden watering.  It's a little maddening when I want to get out so badly and still have to find a hat for Who, and shoes for Her, and stroller for Him, one more coffee, one more diaper!
It really makes me appreciate having an outhouse - it gets me out of the zoo during the day :-)
Occasionally I wonder if I'd allow myself to act on the impulse not to return to those chores...

It's okay though.  You know, I prefer to have more than I can do in a day.  As long as someone else isn't providing me with a deadline, it's far better than not having enough to keep busy with.
All this said, it's a life to make one sleep good (assuming it was a shower night).

I've written about the garden project, you've heard about the berries and the lake.  We have our own little year-round stream at the bottom of the hill which we hope to clear a line of sight to.  The bigger Bugs helped me trim up some trees in an attempt toward achieving this goal.

AJ has been busy with work, but having him at home is bliss (even with all the coffee delivering)!  Despite all the time our "regular" chores take up, we managed to clear the tools out of the shed which will provide a solution for a home office and more importantly, a GUEST CABIN!
You heard rightly, a bona fide nest for our cherished guests.  It will be tiny, but a place of your own should you visit, complete with a few beds and maybe a few other creature comforts.
I am very excited because I know how great this will be for YOU if you come see us, and how great for US because you came.


Okay my friends.  I'm sad to be missing Titus 2 girl-nights.  Don't feel bad to be having fun without me ;-)
I love you very very very much !

Write me.

All my heart,

Big Sister "fixes" Little Sister's Hair

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Past

Yesterday's jewel:

A Western Tanager in a Cedar tree just outside the kitchen window.
Thanks Lord!  Wow!

After I got my "chores" done today, I was allowed to go play in my garden.
Yesterday I planted most all my seeds (excepting the melon and squash which won't be planted within the fenced area), and today emptied a packet each of Zinnias, Morning Glories, and Nasturtiums (Nasturtiums are edible, you know).  Olivia helped me move some Hens and Chicks, and a Strawberry plant from last year.

It was a good time for burning brush this weekend because of the drizzly weather, and so I took pictures from the upstairs porch!

Look what a nice view of our garden from up here.

My!  That is ONE BIG WORM you dug up son!!

I had sporadic help with planting seeds these last couple days, which is fine with me because I don't mind having my thoughts to myself (which is very hard to have with eleventy-hundred questions flying at you non-stop).

On one occasion when I asked several children for help and they declined with a "no thank you, mom", I did trouble myself to remind them of The Little Red Hen...

Despite their propensity to vanish when I wanted them, I had about six extra hands helping with the hose this afternoon when I began to water.  Sorry, don't have any pictures of that.  I can testify, however, that watering wasn't the work ;-)

When I finally shooed the "help" and got to hold the hose unaided, I couldn't help thinking to myself:
"I might like to be a Farmer when I grow up, yeah... I just might!"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Picture For Holly Days

Dear Friend,

These hairbands are adored by some little girls!

Thank you,

Friday, May 21, 2010


I found some darling decor I already had on hand
which matches my new couch pillows perfectly!

On the downside, they don't stay there as willingly as the pillows do.
On the upside I can probably reupholster to match the blue and green ones on my other couch when the mood strikes!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For posterity's sake

Oh Carolina!

she:  "Wha's THIS, mom?"

me:  "Uh... that bookmark"


she: "I got Pea'ut butter on my face!"

me: "Well how'd you do that?"

she: "all by MY-SELF!"


me:  "Carolina.  Stop making that noise please"

she:  "It's O'lea!"

Olivia:  "No Mom, it's Carolina - I'm serious."

she:  "It's O'lea, Mom.  I'm  sih-weeus!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I've been turning these words over and over in my mind, and wanting to post them for a while.

I have been so thankful to experience nearness to the Lord God in light and laughter.  
In hope.  
In peace.
In time of great abundance.

But I know that darkness will come as it does to most, and some more than seems their lot.  
I am watching some near to my heart stretch out their hands in front of them, 
feeling their way through blindness. 
It is disturbing to witness, and tinges my bright season with guilt for enjoying joy!

I am intrigued to realize that my path, while well-lit today, is only one way to meet God; to know Him.
Thick darkness, the kind that envelopes completely and rests on ones back as a burden.  
A darkness you can almost taste, and never know if there will be light again
(for there is no promise)...
This is the place where Moses met God.

He was there. 

The Light of Life was waiting in the thick darkness to meet with man.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did I tell you about... The Chair?

All afternoon was spent on it.
The fervor and ambition of two boys.
Some figuring, some building;

Dad's new cordless screwdriver...
It was a quiet afternoon for me, to say the least!

A little trying it out.

Ah..... not bad for a days work!

Those beaming faces say it all.
 "It's for Lina, Mom"

Unfortunately "Lina" wouldn't sit on it for her brothers.  She insisted that she already had a chair.
Bryce liked it though.  
I'm sorry I didn't have the camera for that, 
but in actuality it took all my too-few hands to prop little brother in this fine creation, 

Don't you just love BOYS?!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

It IS a little like the Taj Mahal of Gardens Heather!

Good call there :-D  That's because AJ made it.  I am VERY sure that it's a "thrown together" affair for him, but for me?
In defense of my extravagance, I've been waiting for this garden 12 years.  My heart is full!

Brenda, it IS a darling layout!  Not planned, but quite an impressive use of space for being "thrown together.

We took a trip to the Nursery after all our hard work on Saturday, and today planted some of our starts.
We planted Onion starts and Onion sets, Red Potatoes and Kennebec Potatoes, a few Mixed Greens and some Leeks (I don't even cook with Leeks, but it's all a grand experiment and some little boys really got into it!), We bought five varieties of Tomato's, one of each.  When placing all these little pots today we counted 11 Pepper plants!   
That was not my doing.  I like a few Bell peppers and I chose ONE tiny Jalapeno for salsa but I am not a hot pepper kind of gal.  That was those boys o' mine.  I hope they like to eat them as much as they enjoyed choosing them.

Katie, I'm sorry your plants froze.  It's true we have a shorter season here but we are in a banana belt here in the panhandle.  We have VERY long days in the Summer getting light at 4 in the morning and not fully dark until almost 11 at night.  Plants LOVE IT here!  They love it.
I am very eager to find out what grows, what I like, and what likes me ;-)  I've heard that tomatoes shouldn't be set out until mid June, but we put ours out anyway.  It's not freezing right now, but I guess we're not totally safe from that yet.  We'll see.  I am planning to sow a lot of seed directly into the dirt.

Suffice it to say I am full of guesses and much speculation.  Hopefully you'll get to witness what this gardening thing ends up being for me.

Goal #1 this year:  Salad garden.  Experiment with anything that catches our fancy.  Can we keep critters out?  What critters want to get in?  Will the plants stand the Buglet traffic? ;-)

Personally, I have high hopes of making this garden beautiful.  AJ read the Square Foot Gardening book and I'm afraid I can't get too excited about gardening that way. 
Too much Math and calculating involved.  I'm more of a Free Spirit when it comes to gardening.  I like to imagine plants "sprawling" and "spilling over..." and getting into each others spaces.  I like a little reckless charm!
(Don't tell anyone, but I envision some Morning Glories and Zinnias somewhere in there too)

P.S.  I earned two blisters on my hand!  (Should I be excited about this?)  I didn't know if I'd get to participate in the garden construction since it is a full time job just keeping the hired help happy.  Alas, there's always room for another dirt-shoveler.
Next time I should wear gloves though :-)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dreaming ip a Garden: Elbowgrease and Dirt

It started with a fence the Deer couldn't jump (or so we hope-with-all-our-heart!)
*This garden venture had a LOT of help from Uncle Wyatt and also Uncle Char and Auntie Hannah

Turning the soil and building boxes.

A hard worker!!  Who needs sunshine when you've got a smile like that hanging around?

A boy and some mud.

A LOT of mud.

Is there any mud left in the mud puddle  son?

Sweet cousins doing their part and looking darling.

Going to fetch some soil from down at the creek.  I mean... "crick".
It's not necessary to wait for Autumn and a hay ride when you've got a trailer, a quad, and some dirt to fetch at the crick.

And an Uncle.

I guess there was a sale at Sportsman's Warehouse?  So cute, guys!

One last thing, you can just get so much more done when you have a face like this around.

It's true!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby is Motating

What is more enticing to a Man-in-the-making than all this paraphernalia?

Don't know.  Just appears to be highly motivating in the "learn-to-mobilize" department!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spying on you Dolly

She looks like a little Doll, doesn't she?

This is my Book Girl.  She literally pours over them.
I love it, and I love to catch her at it when she doesn't know she's being watched.

Carolina's been talking up a storm recently and says some wonderfully fun things, for instance she calls her Chap stick: "Precious Lips"  Perhaps that means beautiful.  I don't know.

Yesterday I asked her what she wanted for lunch.  "Pah Corn!"  Says she.
"Pop Corn?" I respond.  "How about I make pop corn for a snack later today."
"No," she tells me without hesitation "Pah Corn for LUNCH!"
And she got her way.  That's what being the baby is all about; in fact I suspect that if we have ten more children Carolina will always be "the baby".  Or at least one of them.  Around here we call it "the cuteness factor"  and she does it well.  Very well!
Thing is, no one minds and we all look at each other and shrug sheepishly "She sure is working the cuteness factor!"  you'll hear the poor sucker say, and whomever is looking on nods in pity and grins with understanding.

It's a hard pill to take.  Just look at the picture again, you'll understand.