Thursday, June 26, 2008

Small Egg Big Egg

It's funny people are always commenting when I mention I have three or four girls (depending on how I'm counting that day - if Mariah is with us or not). They say, "whoa, you have your hands full." I suppose I do the same to the mom at homeschooling co-op that has five or six kids, or more. But, more and more, I just think, "yes, isn't it wonderful".

There are days...I had an evening the other night. I have a four year old, almost five year old, that is still struggling with potty issues and is just learning things at a slower pace than what I would expect, and sometimes when these issues hit, on top of some chaos of the evening, then I feel like the world's worst Mom. Well, not really, not the worst Mom...but certainly not like a Proverbs 31 woman, if you know what I mean. I feel mad and frustrated and short-tempered. Those days are short lived, lately, however.

And, for all the slowly my heart has turned towards my children, my home, and my husband - I love it - it is the most fulfilling thing. It's not the only thing. There are other things I need, but I love this life I lead.

Small Egg Big Egg

So tonight when I was gone to my sewing class, my Natalie brought in the eggs. She found three big eggs and one small egg. This egg has the look of a Pullet egg (an egg from a young Hen). And, we do have Pullets. But they are inside in their crate still - not out in the Chicken Coop. This egg must simply be an anomaly? Here is the egg:

Small Egg Big Egg

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Milestones

Two Baby Milestones

Baby Wiggle Monster progressed past two baby milestones in the last 24 hours. Yesterday, she went from laying on her tummy to sitting up - on her own. This morning, she crawled forward a couple of inches.

Milestones are funny things, because really development is so incremental.

Take crawling:

First she pushes up on her hands on her tummy.
Then she holds herself up higher.
Then she rocks on her tummy.
Then she gets on her hands and knees.
Then she scoots backwards on her hands and knees.
Finally she goes forward.
    And of course she still has to figure out how to cover much distance.

Nevertheless, the time is coming soon, when she will crawl all over the place and get into everything. So amazing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We had a great Father's Day weekend. We started Father's Day on Saturday with a hike to Silverstar Mountain. Well, we didn't really go all the way to the top, there were big snow drifts in the way. On Sunday we did church, Chinese for lunch, a trip to the park, and we came home and did cards and gifts in the afternoon. Here is a picture from the evening that I thought was especially touching.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today Is Beautiful

Today the weather is beautiful and the three oldest girls are playing around outside. My stepdaughter, Mariah, 9, learned to ride her two wheel bike last weekend, and now suddenly she is very good at it. I am hoping she inspires her younger sister, Natalie, 7. Such a milestone.

The weather, as in most of the country, has been pretty dismal. Rain, rain, rain, and cold. But, finally it looks like summer is coming. I am excited. Gardens and swimming and camps and outings and hiking. The girls are excited as well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Dress

New Dress

I finished a dress for my baby. It called for a zipper, which I'm sure I didn't do quite right. And, it called for bias tape, which I didn't like the look of - so I used the fabric for this instead. Alright for a beginner though.

Here is the dress on the baby. Isn't she cute? I made her a hat too, but I tried to do it without a pattern and didn't put enough ease into it (so the hat is tight).

Here is the dress from the back. The baby actually turned around while I was taking her picture, and I thought, "how perfect."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jame & Rice

Tuesday we picked up our first Azure order. I got some grain, some raw honey, and some miscellaneous things. Azure is a company that sells organic and health conscious food. If you order over $40 and you have the stuff delivered to a drop point (you have to be on one of their shipping routes) whose total order is over $400, then the shipping is free. Most prices are much better than Wild Oats or Fred Meyer. Anyhow, I've been a little intimidated about placing an order and I was glad that I'd done it. Now, I just have to start making the bread!

In the latter half of Tuesday is Art Girl's violin lesson. So, later that day we went into town to her lesson and then went shopping. We went to the Learning Palace and got some wall posters, stickers, and a number line. We also went to a neat gardening store, that carries gardening supplies I like. I got some stakes for my tomatoes, some gloves, two hand shovels, and a warming tray to help my seedlings grow. I've looked everywhere for some cantaloupe and watermelon starts this year and haven't found any, so I decided I'd try to start my own again. I was unsuccessful in the past, but I didn't have a warming tray. Last year we found starts and with the help of some rocks and a little plastic row cover material (to make the plants warmer), we actually managed to finish a couple watermelon and cantaloupes. Wish me luck (blessings) this year!

Wednesday, I got a babysitter and went to work with my husband the last half of the day. I got a lot done, updating a lot of dead links on our business website, tweaking the order of products and the product thumbnails, and just generally working on web content. I used to do a lot more of this kind of work. We used to take the kids with us to work, but now with three sometimes four kids, it's too crazy with them there to get anything done. Just before Wiggle Monster was born we hired someone that (among other things) could update web content and do basic Photoshop work. That has worked out well and I've been able to concentrate on being a homeschooling Mommy. There are always those things, however, you can't usually hire someone to do as a business owner. And, since my husband is more of a business management and accounting type, sometimes it's necessary to put in a few hours. I'm thankful for a good babysitter I can trust.


So we were busy the last two days and I didn't get a chance to post. But I have two pictures from today. Here they are:

"Mom, can you open the jam?"

Hungry, my middle daughter, age 4, is very tactile. So, I got a restaurant table bussing tub from the local Cash 'N Carry and some rice. And, here she is above playing away.

Monday, June 9, 2008



I don't have any more pictures of our garden to show, because the progress that has been made isn't very interesting to look at. However, my husband got a lot more work done in our garden on Sunday. To him it really isn't work of course, it's recreation. He told me at the end of the weekend that he had such a good weekend. He and the older girls planted corn, green beans, yellow beans, pumpkins, acorn squash, carrots, and green onions this Sunday. That's in addition to our garden perennials and to crops we already planted like broccoli, potatoes, yellow onions, tomatoes.


My sweetie also finished a real professional irrigation system for our garden on Saturday. I am very hopeful about this garden season. Everything is coming together. We will have even water, composted soil, well rototilled soil, and permanent crops that are starting to produce. Plus we have figured more things out. For instance, did you know that corn comes in varieties that produce in 60 days and in 93 days? All sold at our local farm store. So, if you have a shorter growing season like ours, you just barely get a crop by the time the season is over - then you get it all at once. This year, we plan on planting more in waves - so we have a longer harvest time.


Here are a couple of pretty pics of some perennial flowers I have that I am just as pleased as punch with. They really burst forth this year.

Perennial Violet

Perennial Begonia

My Big News

Well, all that to say my big news. My baby, my seven month old, she waved bye bye today. Bunches and bunches of times. And in context - I mean she was waving bye bye back to her Daddy when he left today. My other girls didn't wave bye till they were talking, so I'm real excited about this one. I love it how different and the same siblings are.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Clay Art

Art Girl got some oven bake clay for her birthday and she and Bike Rider made some little creatures. Here is a pic:

Clay Art

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nature Walk

Today Dad took the two oldest girls (Bike Rider, 9 and Art Girl, 7) on a nature walk. He taught them to walk quietly and listen to the wind and look around and see nature. They picked up some flowers on their walk and are working on identifying them. Here are the flowers that are new for this week. Natalie got a Northwest Wildflower book for her birthday and she is excited to research these things. It's fun to see her perk an interest in something like this all on her own.


Our Garden

Here are some pictures of our garden shot today, June 7, 2008. It will be fun to look at the pictures as the summer progresses.






Fruit Trees


Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Happy Birthday !!!

It is my Art Girl's birthday today. She is a big seven years old today. She has graced me with her love and enthusiasm for life all these seven years. For that I want to tell her thank you.

Art Girl, you and your sisters have taught me more than anyone else in my life (everyone but Daddy). You are a gift. I enjoy being your Mommy each and every day!

Here is a poem I wrote to you when you were little, like Wiggle Monster is now. Mommy still feels this way about you. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."

Little One
Little One
I love you so
I miss you
While only in the next room
My heart soars when I see you smile
My heart quakes when your lip quivers
My heart tears to see you sad
Little One
May we always stay so close

Here are some pics of my dear sweet Art Girl:

Natalie and Mommy     All Smiles
My Little Baby                                                               Smiley Girl

I Missed My Mom                                                         I love to crawl

Natalie Pushing Cart     
I'm good at pushing things.          My First Birthday Cake

Sleepy, Sleepy                                                             I love camping.

Natalie on top of Silverstar Mountain      
At the top of Silverstar Mountain.                              Look at that monkey.

Natalie at Mt. St. Helens - Hmmm This Boy Is Sure Interesting       Tunnels Are Sure Fun
Hmmm. What an interesting boy!                            Tunnels are fun.

I'm a cowgirl at heart       Look at my cute pig tails
I'm a cowgirl at heart.                              Piggy tails.

I love Peanut Butter and Jelly       I like cows
Mmmm. Peanut Butter & Jelly                                   I like cows.

Turning 3       At The Zoo
I'm three!                                                                       At the zoo with my sister.

Just playing.                                       I'm five and I like cheesecake.

Mom, I don't have time for a picture.      
Not now, mom.                                                             There's a chicken on my shoulder.

In the chicken coop.                                                    Soccer

  All I want is my two front teeth.                                My cap.

Sad Face

I just thought I'd quickly share my cute little Wiggle Monster's sad face. This is the face she makes at me as I walk out of the room to _____________ (you fill in the blank, pretty much anything will work).


Funny Girl

Rachel (age 4) has always had quite the sense of humor. She definitely has comedic timing - which is something none of the rest of us have, so I'm not sure how she got that way.

Anyhow, here is a picture she drew. I am sharing it not so much to show you how well she can draw, but to share with you the creativity she uses to come up with the subject matter, as well as to share the emotion she adds to her pictures.

This is Hungry Girl's picture of Loves To Talk (her older sister) thinking about a Pirate.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Simple Things

I am inspired about enjoying the simple things in this life God gave me.

I just went outside and the cows were nearby. We currently have three momma cows, one bull (he's just on loan), two calves, and twelve steers (for a total of 18). And, soon we will get two more momma cows. Don't ask me how my husband talked me into all those cows. One at a time that is for sure.

But, the one calf we got on the ground (helped successfully birth), she is the greatest joy of all of them. Her name is Annabelle. She is growing like a weed and she is very friendly. I can go out amongst the herd of cattle and for the most part the herd isn't bothered. But they don't come over to me either. Annabelle comes over to me. She wants me to scratch her back and her tummy. And she's very tame. She's probably about 200-250 pounds now, I would guess. She will make a great Momma.

So right now the other future Mommas we have are two Pinzgauer's and a Red Angus. The Pinzgauer's are a very mellow breed, which also make very tender beef. Of course our Momma cows are for breeding, and so we can get more attached to them. The two adult Momma Pinzgauers are Pattina and Dora Ann. Dora Ann lost her baby. Pattina is a fantastic Momma to Annabelle. The other adult Momma we have isn't named yet. She is a Red Angus. They are a real low maintenance breed. We are breeding her to the Pinzgauer bull and we hope her baby turns out looking like a Pinzgauer (which is reddish brown with a white stripe down their back). The Red Angus is very mellow, but it still pretty standoffish, as is her calf (he stands behind her most of the time).

We are also going to get two Black Angus Mommas. This is Big Boss Man's idea. He wanted to try an easier breed in terms of birthing. Black Angus are as easy as it comes for that.

So, next year we should have five new calves. Then the year after that six new calves.

What's So Simple About That?

I know it's not so simple. Farming, healthy eating, budgeting, child rearing - all of this is hard to figure out. It's not something I've had handed down from the generation before me and it's something that's easily lost in our culture. But, it has the potential to be so simple. And, even in these beginning stages of figuring this all out - the simple joys of petting a calf or planting some vegetables or watching my birds at the bird feeder - well they are so cool!

A Sketch

I told Art Girl to sketch something out her window. Here is her sketch. She did a good job I think.

The Playground Out My Window

Baby Wigglemonster

Update On Baby

Baby Wiggle Monster and I are doing better this week. On the weekend her Daddy gave me lots of breaks. We also worked on "training" her (responding to fussiness slowly and rewarding happiness quickly and just doing what has to be done). Additionally, I've been utilizing my Ergo front pack more. I'm even sitting here right now adding this entry with baby in pack. She's isn't too happy about it, but this is a short entry. Oh, she's also taken a full nap for the last four days. Yeah!