Saturday, April 30, 2011

What If?

I had a new thought.

Well, not really a new one, but I put my thoughts together into a new one.

What if...

What if I didn't try and constrain my children to learn, but encourage them?

What if I didn't try and constrain my husband to serve and to fellowship with the family, but encourage him?

What if I took time for myself...time to nourish myself...time for me to be creative...time for me to have fellowship?

What if I learned to say no, prayerfully, but without the listing of reasons, without guilt...whether to my children, my husband, or the world.

What if I purposed to enjoy each day in a nourishing way...don't be afraid to live life to it to the fullest, but purpose to eat well, move well, pray well, play well.

What if I unplug? A lot. What if I give up? A little. What if?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Easter

We had an unconventional Easter Day today. Last week we got together with my husband's family to celebrate Easter, so Easter Day was mostly to ourselves. We read the Easter story together as a family, much as we do for Christmas. Then, we had communion together.

We also had the last of our cattle give birth. We were nervous about her. This cow (Annabell) was one of our original calves. She had her first calf last year. As a Heifer (new Momma Cow) we expected her to have a rough time with the birth last year. Yet, she is from a breed that normally has fairly large calves and sometimes has hard births regardless if they are a first time Momma or not. So, we were pleased today when for the most part she delivered her calf by herself. It was hiplocked at the end, but came easily when my husband rotated the calf. It probably would have turned on it's own. And the calf (a girl) was up and nursing within 40 minutes, which is really good. So we were very happy.

The girls also decorated their own eggs for Easter, which they were totally psyched about. It seems I haven't done that activity with them very much in the past and they didn't remember doing it.

I also got this shot of my husband and my baby boy, sleeping together for an instant. It is a joy having a baby boy.


Happy Easter. He is Risen indeed.

1st Hike

Josiah went on his first hike here this weekend. We went to Multnomah Falls. We like to go there at least once a year. Last time we hiked there I was pregnant with him.


Here is most of the gang on the right viewing Multnomah Falls. My littlest girl, Abigail, was standing next to me. It was pretty misty there that day. We went there one day late summer two summers ago on our way home from Yellowstone. It was about an 105 degree day. I was hoping for some of that mist when we stopped, but there was none that day. Multnomah falls has way too many tourists, but I must say there is a reason, it's really a spectacular falls.


The whole falls is something to behold from the bridge below Multnomah Falls. That big rock there at the bottom is about the size of a bus and fell off the cliff a good while back.


And here are my three girls in the little "cave" on the walk up to the falls...this is always a favorite stop on the way.


Unfortunately, this day we didn't make it all the way to the top, but there is always next time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early Spring Nature Study

The flowers are out and we are back taking nature walks. Yes, we are wimps when it comes to wet, rainy weather.

Here are some flowers we found today:


My favorite - The Trillium


Smooth Yellow Violet


Salmonberry Flower


Skunk Cabbage Flower


We think this is Oaks Toothwort, but it varies slightly from the sample in our wildflower book.


Oregon Oxalis


Waxpaper Lichen


We aren't sure what this is. Anyone know?
This last weekend was Palm Sunday and we got together with my husband's family.

It seems all weekend was devoted to that, as I spent a long time making pies. My husband is not one for hanging out inside with the kids. And, since the only boy is an infant and the girls aren't thrilled with the cold and the wet, often I am inside with all the kids on the weekend. The funny thing is I don't mind so much during the week. It feels like that's my job. But, on the weekend, it feels like I should get down time too. It doesn't always happen. My husband means well and offers to take the kids outside with him a lot, but he is just not an inside man.

However, on Saturday, I did make it to Joann's during a big sale. So, I now have lots of fabric for lots of sewing projects.

I made a ruffle skirt for my three year old girl recently.


I did it using my serger and a gathering foot. It wasn't as easy as I thought since the first time around I was plagued with a) tension that didn't hold the layers together and b) serging on the wrong side of the fabric. The second time around I managed to keep my errors more "fixable". I gathered the wrong piece of fabric. The gathers were on both side of one strip of can barely tell. I also managed to sew the inside seam (that occurs from piecing strips together) on the outside of the skirt (I sewed a decorative stitch over it). In the end I ended up with a simple, really cute skirt. And, I could sew tons of these skirts in a pretty quick amount of time, if only I could get a handle on all my technique issues.

I now have some fabric that I could do that with. The older girls all want skirts. These are the kinds of skirts that you just can't find in the stores.

Here are a couple of cousin pictures.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sick Once More

I'm sick once more. So far, a sinus cold this time. I watched it coming as each of my children, then my baby, were sick. What else could happen, but that I would succumb? Holding a sick, runny nosed baby day in, day hugs to each of my girls...

We are sick altogether too much. And, really, we eat pretty well. I make homemade bread. We eat whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. Still we are sick. I think maybe it's genetic (I was always sick a lot as a kid), or a genetic or learned tendency to touch everything and then touch our faces. Sharing the germs of two households when my step-daughter comes doesn't help, I know. Then, maybe we shouldn't ever go out in public. Yet, my girls adamantly don't want to cut one thing from their schedule.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Little Women

Tonight I read Little Women with my little women. Mariah is here and so there were four little women just like in the book. My girls excitedly argued over which character the were.

Then, as I tucked them into bed, we all sang Amazing Grace (as we often do). Josiah sang Aaaaa Aaaa along with us, and the girls were all laughing as they listened to him sing.


I introduced my little man to gardening today. He seemed to like it.


More good times to come! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


It is Spring here, but it is a typical Spring for Northwest Cascade Foothills. In other words rain, rain, rain. I really don't remember a day without rain. It seems unbelievable to me. Sometimes I'd really like to live somewhere a little less rainy. As all North Westerners will tell you, though, summers are beautiful.

I also feel like I could maybe squeeze in a little exercise if it would only stop raining. I'm not sure if I've been fighting depression here lately, or just feeling tired, but exercise, either way, would surely help.

My husband is working on a weight loss goal right now. He wants to climb Mt. Adams in the fall. I, am not that kind of a hiker, but I'm looking forward to hiking season. Family hikes are the best. I haven't really joined him on the weight loss goal so far. It's sooooo hard to diet when nursing. Between the appetite and the limitation of dieting when it comes to keeping one's milk supply up, it's challenging. Yet, with him keeping his eating in check, especially the lack of (semi) nightly desserts, maybe I will lose just even without doing much of a diet, just with a little exercise. After all, two pounds of weight loss a month, right now, while I'm nursing would be ideal.

My husband and I went down to the barn tonight. We had a calf born that we've been working to keep healthy. The calf was born small (which is good). But, it seems, perhaps the Mom doesn't have good maternal instincts and walked away from the calf a lot the first night. We have her penned now. She spins a lot in the pen too. The calf got scours and so we've been giving him a salt water solution through a tube. Well, mainly my husband has been doing that. The calf is so friendly though. They get like that when they are handled a lot as a calf. I hope he stays tame after we let him out in the field. It's been totally hard rain here lately, so we are going to be a little slow releasing him to the field.

When we were in the barn there was a little barn swallow flying over my head. I was up on the hay stack, so the little gal was flying like two feet over my head. Those birds just fascinate me. I've never been able to get a good picture of one...they are always on the move. In the summer, sometimes we have about 30 plus swallows flying over the cattle swooping down to eat bugs. They are so beautiful.