Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Welcome to Blue House!

Our new Winter nest, a 1937 town charmer IN NORTH IDAHO
just 30 minutes from Marvel Hill!

This house is perfect for us.
And perfect for keeping us cozy in convenience and creature comforts
during the short, dark, cold days of winter!

It fits our family.
It's light and bright.
It has electricity.
(And flush toilets!!)
It's darling.
It's old.
It has "scope for the imagination" and lots of potential for fun house projects.
It was move-in ready.

It is on a large lot with two pear trees and an apple tree too.  The kids were sold :-)

Blue House has all the original hardware and glass knobs on doors - so cool.

Above is the girls room in a new coat of paint - a pink they were able to agree on.

Zachary wanted plain white or blue for the boys room and Clayton had a handful
of colorful paint swatches...
I think we collaborated on a satisfactory compromise!

The bathtub will be making its home in the upstairs bathroom AJ is tearing into.
He's also carving out space for a washer and dryer in a built-in cabinet upstairs. Wahoo!

Winter arrived last week and booted us from Marvel Hill with a frozen pipe send-off.
First mattresses covered the living room floor of Blue House for a few days of camping,
and then Dad got bunks and beds assembled much to the delight of these hoodlums :-)

Snow is supposed to descend tomorrow and tonight Carolina asked for "Frosty the Snowman"
when I turned on background music. Miles danced with me in the kitchen and Bryce turned
some groovy somersaults on one lone mattress in the living room:-)
On principal I traditionally wait until after Thanksgiving to start Christmas music,
but for Carolina I couldn't say no :-)  I find a nice alternative that has a Christmasy
feel, is the Bojangles station on Pandora, so we've been listening to that a lot too.

We started up a constant simmer of hot apple cider on the stove here.  Our favorite recipe
is 4-5 cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, and one sliced lemon to one jug apple cider.
However, if snow shows up tomorrow, I'm going to get out the marshmallows for
hot chocolate and we'll read all our the Wintry books we can dig up!
One if our more recent favorites is called Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee, by Chris Van Dusen.
He writes charming, witty, rhyme-ish stories and his illustrations are SO delightful!

Anyway, I see reading and candles and maybe more music in our day tomorrow along with
that hot chocolate and snow.

I hope your days are cozy and beginning to feel Holiday-ish too :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little of This and Little of That

It was the precious summer.

Arrival of one very beautiful and amazing Emerald Peace;
lots of lake trips with lawn chairs, life jackets, and an ice chest.

A new grassy spot for
campfire pit, playing Tag, and catching grasshoppers.

And the old old apple trees down by the log cabin - they have been
worth their weight in gold.  Our own "Giving Trees" support leggy
children on spindly bows and produce apples apples and more apples.
Still the trees keep giving and apple cores are common by the wayside.

The log cabin saw some progress too, in the framing up of doors and windows.

Susie had a birthday entering the double digits!!

This year we got her started with some essential oils of her own and
a case to keep them in.  The girl has been reading about their uses and
is fast becoming my resource for which to use for what ailments :-)
She says that cinnamon diluted and applied to the front of the neck works
fabulously as a cure for sore throat!

I'm so glad to have babies and toddlers underfoot - AJ and I agree
that we'll never get tired of having a two-year-old in our home - but this new stretch
of our lives with big kids is being A-MAZING!

These guys are so much fun; they have super ideas and thoughts and are truly witty!
They keep me company and share my foibles and laugh at my mistakes.
I mean, really.  It's the best thing ever to have these guys laughing with (at?) me
over adding 4 cups of chocolate chips to a recipe that was to have only 3/4 cup.
Wow.  It was not really such a bad mistake - if you like a giant cake-shaped
chocolate chip. Haha! (Could be a bit of sleep deprivation sneaking in there)

Also, they pick up some of the load for our family, which gives me time to just be mom.

When there were only 4 under 6, that was the most exhausting season, and not
because there were four, but because they were under six years old.
While dad was at work, I was it.  IT.  I was the sole sandwich-maker, potty taker-to-er,
cup-filler, diaper-fetcher, clothes-changer, tucker-inner, face-washer, shoe-finder...
You name it, I did it.  It wasn't that long ago, but if you ask me how I did it, I couldn't
tell you. It's a blur to me now. Those were the days of true super powers! :-D
No really, I was completely exhausted and tapped out.

What an unforeseen blessing of this large family experience to have such eager, willing,
and capable helpers that rescue me from nervous breakdown every day!
Little number nine has monopolized my arms because of her near-constant tummy
troubles this summer, and I've had the luxury of holding her because of my young
lunch-making Hero's and Heroines (and that is only the tip of the iceberg regarding
their stellar gifts, abilities, and precious service).

I hold Emerald, gently swaying back and forth with her small frame draped over my arm,
and listen in rapt attention to exploits, look (really look) at artwork, watch the peanut
butter being spread or the flour being measured as the cooks chatter away to my open ear,
read some stories to my littler ones, attend my middle ones reading to me.

In so many ways, there is more to occupy my day than ever in my history before.
Despite that, I get to enjoy motherhood in a whole new way.  I am relishing it.

I am relishing it so much.  Inhaling deeply as one would a sweet scented blossom.
How could I have known what those difficult young-mothering days would bloom into?
*(and for the sake of this conversation we'll ignore the difficult old-mothering days, ok? 
I'm sure you've heard of the woman who lived in a shoe... haha!)

All these ages are perfection.  I want to freeze time.  But no, I do want to see these guys
learn new things and grow into fellas strong and manly, and women sweet and graceful.
It's just happening too fast.  I guess the best way to be grateful for the best of this season
is to stop and enjoy these children while they are here.

And that's what I'm trying to do.

This five-year-old boy.  My heart, how I love him.
He is pretty fascinated with drawing birds these days and here are a couple
of his works of art - no kidding.

Two more pieces of my heart here below...

This little lady is picking chicken carcasses for me.  Ugh.  A job I like to avoid.
The other day it hit me - have Olivia do it!  She is such a tactile person and loves to have
her hands in everything (and feet, and head and hair and..) So thank you Olivia!

This pretty thing?  She is my up-and-coming baker/cook.  She wants to cook so badly
but she's up against four other kitchen thieves.  For school this year she's making her
own cookery book with hand copied recipes, and her sisters (or myself) have been taking
turns with her in the kitchen almost daily.

She's the one who tells me: "I can't WAIT to be a mom so I can cook good things
for my family.  I'll make cookies for my husband."
I tell her that's the best :-) Definitely worth looking forward to!

What can I say about this guy. I am proud fit to bust!
I'm just so privileged to know him. I'll be more than content for the rest of my life,
just to be known as Zack's mom.
He blesses me every day.

And if you're wondering if Emerald has a reddish tint to her hair, it sure seems like it!
Kind of fun for a change :-)

Yep.  They're keepers - every one of them!

Sunday, September 21, 2014