Autumn is settling in, and we’ve put the feather comforters and extra quilts on the beds.  My ankle hasn’t healed enough to drive yet, so we spend our week keeping busy at home.  Any moment it isn’t raining, we’ve been in the garden. Some images from our quiet week around the house.  Above: Hops, rosemary, and comfrey drying in a sunny window seat. Collecting columbine seeds for Christmas gifts, and a few to sow around the garden. Baking bread.  The kids can eat a loaf every single day, and I certainly don’t mind baking.  This is molasses-shredded wheat bread (my kids

Continue reading


  Joining Taryn of WoolyMossRoots for her Gratitude Sunday: -Very glad to have a little free time to return to blogging, and catch up on some of my favorite blogs. -And grateful to return to some much-beloved routines and habits (like baking bread nearly every day, knitting, reading aloud to the kids in the afternoon, making pickles).   -Grateful for the intense and much-needed rain this week, followed by a bolt of growth all over the gardens. -Feeling very blessed to have such kind and thoughtful neighbors, who lavish such unconditional love on my kids. -Bittersweet to see my youngest,

Continue reading

Play Kits to go

Joining Nicole’s KCCO this week with a project I finished before the holidays, but am just now getting around to photographing. The toy baskets were getting out of control.  One of the children would be rummaging through, looking for all the pieces of a playset, and end up dumping over the whole basket in frustration just to find a missing piece. Christmas was coming, and I knew something had to change before the chaos in the living room got worse. My solution:  just before Thanksgiving, I retrieved a  little coat rack from basement storage.  A dear family friend had made

Continue reading

December 1

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… One of my favorite parts about getting out the holiday decorations is finding the box of Christmas books, and checking out a big stack of Advent and winter-themed library books.  I keep some of them in a basket, and rotate the selection every few days. This morning we refreshed the greens and candles on the Advent wreath before lighting the second candle tomorrow night. (Yes, this is technically a birthday ring my mom bought me when I was a small child in Germany, but it functions just fine for holding Advent candles,

Continue reading

L’Arche Christmas Tree

  Each year, we visit the same tree lot to pick up a little table-top Christmas tree which will sit in the window seat.  It is a tradition we really enjoy, and we’re thankful to be able to support L’Arche in our small way. L’Arche, is a wonderful organization that serves adults with disabilities in many communities.  From the Portland chapter’s website: At L’Arche Portland people with and without developmental disabilities work together to create home and build community. Those with developmental disabilities form the heart of our shared life and invite others into mutual relationships. We welcome each person’s

Continue reading

While G is napping

Went to make an afternoon pot of tea, and got distracted by how incredibly dusty and precariously stacked everything was in the china cupboard.  Ended up dusting and reorganizing for a solid hour while George napped and the big kids ran around in the sunshine.  (Had I ever dusted in there?  Spider webs galore on the top shelf.  Ugh). Also found some time to finish up some baby shower gifts before the herd of elephants came stomping in from outdoors and woke the baby.   Little projects seem the easier to complete these days.  Quick and mindless is best.  The

Continue reading

Coat Hooks

When entering our home, there is no coat closet, or even much of an entryway to speak of.   Our kids tend to walk in the door and immediately dump their coats on the floor.  And, of course, the dog promptly makes a nest in them and takes a nap.  Even if they take their coats back to their room, they aren’t tall enough to hang them up in their closet, so they end up in a pile on the floor back there.  It drives me nuts. The other day, we were at Cost Plus/World Market, because it’s close to church,

Continue reading

Rummage Sale Score

My husband’s cousin will be visiting all summer (from New York City!), and for part of her visit, she’s going to be staying with us.  We were worried about her not having a place to sleep here, and have been on the lookout for a used sofa.  A queen-sized futon has been serving as our sofa for a while now, and if we could find a decent sofa, the futon could go in our semi-unfinished upstairs and give cousin Erin a place to stay (and have some peace and privacy away from the kid chaos). This past weekend, a church

Continue reading

Late May Garden Update Part II

And here’s the rest of the garden update: There wasn’t time to get any side-yard shots before the rain started up again, but we now have 64 healthy strawberry plants growing there (many have set fruit already!) and the Christmas limas are germinating there as well. Out in the backyard – the peas (see above) are as tall as Firecracker!  Oregon Sugar Pod IIs, Alaska, Galena, and Alderman Tall Telephone peas are all going strong.  And yesterday Firecracker noticed that they’d begun to flower!  Soon we’ll have sugar snap peas, snow peas and shell peas by the bucketful! The first

Continue reading

Late May Garden Update Part I

The garden has really taken off  after a week of hot, sunny weather, followed by lots of rain. (although, the cold nights and wind the past few days haven’t done us any favors).  Volunteers have been able to start taking in a few baskets of organic produce to BCS, mostly radishes, mustard greens, lettuce, chives, tarragon and baby beets, bok choy, and kale.  The teeny harvests thus far just begin to hint at the bounty of the coming months. Between slug-picking and weeding and rain showers, we got a few pictures this morning – (above) The boys in the front

Continue reading

“Flying Fish” Blue

This afternoon’s project was painting the chicken coop a vibrant blue (although it dried darker). The girls had a great time, and were sure to get lots of paint in their hair.  🙂 Up next?  A second coat (after picking up a second gallon), painting the trim and posts, and adding a nice bright yellow sunshine in the upper right corner, and this fall, a trellis and table grapes up one side.

A Living Hope

Preparing for our celebration of the Resurrection tomorrow: The children’s baskets may be put out awaiting little treats from a certain visitor, but our hearts and minds are fixed the redemptive joy of tomorrow. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – I Peter 1:3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

Continue reading

Little Ragamuffins

We scrapped all other plans for today, and simply played in in the dirt. As Firecracker said, “There’s nothin’ more natural than gettin’ dirty.” Somehow, in the midst of playing “dirt fairies”, “cruel dirt queen who makes her workers dig all day”, “climb dirt mountain”, “search for worms and buried treasure”, and “fill and empty buckets of dirt over and over”, we managed to spread just shy of two yards more compost over the front beds, finally completing them. Tomorrow – chard, beets, kale, mustard greens and potatoes are sown out front.  The coming weeks – finish backyard beds, plant

Continue reading


The past month has been an opportunity to re-evaluate what we value as a family – to really examine what we strive to be and to accomplish.  Although unintentional, the blogging break these past several weeks has been very therapeutic for our whole family.  (Actually, it was a break from all computer-related activities). I realized how much time was being spent every week blogging, and reading other beautiful, but consuming, blogs.  I realized how much more time I spent reading, knitting, sewing, being still and quiet when I tuned out technology.  My stress level went down, and we were all

Continue reading

Quiet spinning

A quiet afternoon yesterday – now all of us are feeling under the weather and we are doing our best to cultivate an atmosphere of peace and foster wellness.  The girls were snuggling in their bed, reading Highlights and Ranger Rick,  and Tum Tum was napping.  A rare opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee in the front room, watching the rain fall. Also a perfect opportunity to get out some spinning (because anyone who knows me knows I can’t just sit and sip coffee without some handwork at the ready).  I’ve been so busy knitting socks, I’ve gotten behind

Continue reading

Family Bed and Cloth Diapering

Some friends recently asked how we share sleep with our youngest while he’s in cloth diapers.  Overnight leaks are a worry, even with doublers and the “good covers” saved for night time.  To safeguard the mattress, we don’t use expensive wool mattress pads (which sound fabulous, but are way out of the budget) or those awful rubberized crib pads that don’t breathe a bit. Our simple solution is to use some thrifted wool blankets that I ran through the wash a few times in order to felt them up nice and thick (from twin size down to about 3 x

Continue reading

Sunday summer afternoon

Little Hen and I picking wildflowers in the yard, and cutting out new paperdolls from Grandma, while the little ones take a nice long nap. I think that makes for a pretty good Sunday afternoon.

Spring-into-Summer Nature Table

While not technically summer, the very warm, sunny weather of late has been pointing us in that direction.  The girls and I have cleared away the spring table and begun to gather items for our summer table.  It’s just beginning to take shape – rocks from a nature hike, sweet alyssum from the yard, beeswax flowers Little Hen made, some shells from the beach… We are looking forward to seeing it grow and change as the summer progresses, and also seeing and drawing inspiration from other families’ nature tables. Some blog and flickr posts that showcase nature tables -  Chickadee

Continue reading

Meyer lemon

Ever since I was a girl, and our neighbors in San Antonio grew lemons in their backyard, I have wanted a lemon tree of my own.  But of course, in the Pacific Northwest, planting a citrus grove in your backyard is not realistic. Our new home has a large L-shaped bank of windows in the front room, letting in lots of sunlight yearround, perfect for keeping citrus.   So, for Mother’s Day this year, the children bought me a Meyer Lemon tree at Portland Nursery!! Meyer lemons are very sweet and juicy, good for baking.   The tree is a

Continue reading

Thrift Store Impulse Buy

First off, an apology on this  WordPress Theme – it’s having issues, I don’t like it, and will probably be changing it soon.  I’m in the middle of trying to work up a custom header, as well (that’s tougher than I realized!) so things maybe a bit wonky for a few days. Okay, on to the post – The children and I were out for coffee this morning with friends, and on the way home, we swung by our favorite thrift store. It was a pretty successful outing – especially considering these goodies only set me back $2.25 in total

Continue reading

Breakfast nook

The breakfast nook is finished! A few late nights after the girls were asleep, with Tum Tum on my back, and we now have a place to eat our oatmeal and take tea in the afternoon. The walls are Behr’s Butter Cookie in Sateen finish. The trim, beadboard and cabinest took 4 coats of white semigloss. Now to find the perfect drop-leaf table on Craigslist…in the meantime, our wooden card table will have to suffice.

Settling in

Life is crazy right now, but I am trying to enjoy the peaceful moments where I can find them.  We are in our new house, and have been fighting off a family-wide chest cold for the past week.  Everything is still a complete mess – half-unpacked boxes everywhere, still in the midst of painting the kitchen, nothing baby-proofed. I did manage to get a tablecloth on the dining table (I know, I’m a funny gal, but it always makes me feel more settled somehow).  When we’ve felt up for it, we’ve been neglecting unpacking completely – instead we’ve been spending

Continue reading

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :