More than I thought

January 5

There has been a sudden flurry of drawing around here.  That makes me happy, considering that I have failed at including drawing lessons in our school days.  Early in the week, Larkspur set up a couple of mushroom prints on her little table and proceeded to draw a stack of mushroom pictures.  She told me that as she studied the prints, she was reminded of some mushrooms she saw last summer, and tried to draw them from memory.  (prints are from the lovely Alice)  Soon, all the boys were drawing mushrooms as well.  I think I need to get more of Alice’s prints framed.  There are birds and beetles….

January 5

Yesterday, The girls set themselves up with paper, pencils, crayons (and Jonny!) in front of the woodstove.  Everyone would rather draw with him than with me, because he is the better artist.  I think he is also more willing to really slow down with them.  That is harder for me.

January 5

It didn’t take Beatrix long to start dumping the pencils and crayons out of their jars.  She stated very matter of factly that she was not dumping them, but “taking them out.”

January 5

January 5

January 5

Seth has been metal detecting the old home sites in our area nearly every day.  He took these photos of some of his recent finds.  He really loves this hobby.

January 5

And, nearly everything is treasure.

January 5

Silas is eating and army crawling and just generally delighting us all.

January 5

Every morning, Gabe requests an update on his sweater progress.  Two sleeves to go.  I just barely got this photo of him before he hid his face behind Silas.

January 5

Larkspur has joined the big boys in doing chores.  In conversation with a friend, it suddenly dawned on me that she has been ready for some time.  Oops!

January 5

Keats continues to love playing his violin.

January 5

This morning, a female cardinal flew into one of our downstairs windows.

January 5

Thankfully she was only stunned, and seconds after this photo was taken she flew into a nearby maple.

January 5

All’s well.

It very much feels like a new year here.  It seems there are more resolutions than I thought.  Jonny, king of laid back-ness finally opened up a palm pilot that my mom bought him more than half a decade ago (don’t laugh,) and is planning his days and weeks.  It’s crazy.   We are also going to a cash system, hoping to pay off all those college loans and a few other things over the next couple of years.  The idea of snowballing debt is appealing to me.

Beatrix is praying for a baby sister.  Lord, have mercy.


  1. I have some debt snowball info if you want me to mail it to you, Ginny. And Jonny using a Palm Pilot…he has company. I am now mildy embarrassed when I take mine out in public…it is so dated(!) but it works wonderfully for me! Are you guys having another baby? I loved reading what you wrote about a baby and focus on the little life and healing in your post above. I am missing that around here.

  2. omgosh that cookie cutter!!!

  3. The cardinal on the hand? Astonishing! And that is one impressive collection of detected treasures. My older son has a metal detector, but hasn’t gone beyond the backyard. We’ll have to find him a more interesting site.

    And we’ve been on a cash system for five years now (Dave Ramsey). It is not easy, but we paid off $78, 000 in school loans (gah!) and two cars. We are debt free except for the house, and have a little in savings. It really works. The main change has to be not coveting. I stink at that.

    My friend Nicole is teaching me to knit this upcoming Thursday! Yippee! I’ll visit the yarn along next week! Yippee again!

  4. Lovely family, lovely photographs. Your son has a good eye for photography. My kids are all grown up now, but I miss photographing them as they played on the floor. Nothing like a child’s attention to the task at hand. -John

  5. Look at all that treasure. What fun! I think my oldest would have such fun treasure hunting in your area. So much to find. Here we find nails and bottle caps. Not quite the same. The bird is so amazing. I love the pictures of it just sitting on his finger!

  6. Love it! Your photos are beautiful. I’m with ya on the sitting down to draw thing, I love that my boys will sit down and create, but as soon as they are all gathered around the table I start to do kitchen chores. I’d rather just be with my little ones, but instead I’m doing dishes and sweeping. My hubby is also better at that then I.

    I’m glad the birdie is okay, I hate when they fly into my windows, my heart skips a beat and then I feel very sad. And I cry. But I’m also 8mo pregnant with my 4th and totally an emotional wreck who is beyond exhausted, I sometimes wish the Lord would give us a break, but perhaps after this baby.

    Anyways, I’m rambling, I love your posts, you inspire me and uplift me when I visit. Thqank you for all your hard work.

    Samantha (Woodland Woolens)

  7. You crack me up…’she’s praying for a baby sister’…love it…haha
    We did the snowball thing (dave ramsey) and it totally helped us get out of debt (including student loans and credit cards–which we have NONE of now…on purpose mind you)—now we have nothing but the mortgage and I get to stay home and hope to move into a bigger place this year (we too have outgrown our small place 🙂 Love seeing your pictures…baby boy is getting so big!

  8. When I look at the background of some of your pictures it seems like you have a lot of open space. Can you write about how you achieve this while still having children? If you are blessed with generous relations like I am can you comment on how you keep a “less is more” mindset?

    • I will try to work on that! Part of it is that I am very open with family about our feelings on possessions and our lack of space. We have very much outgrown our house and I keep tight control over “stuff.” But, it is a constant battle–and things often become cluttered and messy.

  9. I love reading your words and looking at your photos. I think we are quite similar in that we know slow is good, but struggle with the messes and time it takes…It makes me feel good about our decision to homeschool. I adore the treasures he has found too. My goodness, I should pick that hobby up.
    Thank you.

  10. I love all the photos – the metal detection and the cardinal were special to me for whatever reason. I expect they are reflecting some things about my own family and the season of our life we are in.

  11. That’s such a great hobby for a little boy. I remember hunting for trinkets in the river with my little brother when we were children. Anything really does become a treasure.

  12. Oh come on, why shouldn’t she pray for it(a baby sister)? My poor James prays for a sibling too()and I doo too) but realistically, I’m 42 and my husband is 57….

  13. Beautiful all of it and everyone. Love the picture of Gabe and Silas and the dumping and the treasures, moods captured so clearly.

  14. Wow! It is hard for me to say which of these pictures I liked the best – so many wonderful moments you’ve captured! Thank you for sharing, your images and your words 🙂

  15. I do so enjoy seeing glimpses of your days. It made me very happy to see Seth’s treasures. Especially the little chicken cookie cutter. When I was a girl I found one exactly like his while exploring an old abandoned homesite here in East Tn. Very cool! Brought back fun memories! I still have that tiny chicken cookie cutter packed away with other treasures from my own childhood!

  16. What a beautiful picture of Gabe! Good catch.

  17. Oh, and I meant to say, now I think I am going to need to go out and find a metal detector for Sebastian…!

  18. Ohmigosh, Silas is edible! What a gorgeous hunk of baby flesh!
    We do a lot more drawing and painting in the winter, although I am far more inspired in the spring and autumn (my favorite nature months). I am not very good at drawing from life, much better at doing as Larkspur and copying from a photo or print.
    Huzzah to paying off debt! It feels good to owe nothing. Bret and I had a small debt for only the first 9 years of our marriage (mortgage), and have been free of debt ever since.
    I love all your photos, as always…we are having a pretty mellow start to the year, too. I have done some school planning for when we start up again on Monday, but I feel so lazy and just would prefer to keep on drawing, painting, knitting and playing board games!

  19. oh Silas is starting to look so much like Larkspur! I love the photo of Gabe!

  20. i love that look of concentration on larkspur’s face. (me, i bite my lip, and never notice until i taste blood. oops!) we pulled out our watercolors today, as we often do, but this time i ante’d up and pulled out the watercolor paper, as well. i always hold back, as it’s so very dear, but oh my, night and day!! i cut one sheet into several small ones, six or eight, and we each only used one, so in love were we with the rich, thick absorbency of it. it was grand. i do so love drawing (even if i stink!). i think it’s because i’m so awful at slowing down, also, and it requires that of me. even if i go kicking and screaming 🙂

    i also wanted to mention, ginny, that gabe’s sweater is GORGEOUS!! that yarn, those colors, the stripe pattern, all of it. i think i might need to finally break down and get hold of some of that beaverslide worsted. i’m so smitten.

    happy new year to you,


    • I cut up watercolor paper too! It is just too expensive not to! And, I really do love the fisherman weight wool.

      • I am currently knitting a sweater for my husband with the beaverslide heavyweight fisherman’s wool and I LOVE IT! The customer service there is great too!

  21. Your photos are so engaging. I love that your kids let you take their pictures so easily. My favs are the ones of the wee one (delicious!) and your son with the cardinal.
    x, Val

  22. Our Isaac also loves to metal detect – a great selection of photos showcasing your home.
    Blessings, Tonya

  23. I love this post! You have such a beautiful family and it’s such a lovely way to showcase their gifts. I especially love Seth’s treasures. We have a shed full of similar treasures we found while scouring old bottle dumps on our visits to western Queensland when we were kids. They’re priceless!

  24. ok so i am slow on the uptake, but you don’t have your link to all your tutorials any more. 🙁 are they coming back or are they gone for good?

    • They will be back!! They are actually all still here scattered throughout the blog, but for some reason the main directory page didn’t survive the move. I will rebuild it as soon as possible!

  25. Christine says:

    Sweet Beatrix…you and hubby DO make beautiful children…especially girls. Would be wonderful to have another.

  26. I just found your blog via ravelry, and I’m smitten by your photos and your beautiful knitting! Oh, and that darling family of yours…precious. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Oh! I am so glad Larkspur is enjoying the prints! 🙂
    My boys would FLIP for a metal detector. They have been asking for one for a couple of years now, but I am overwhelmed by all the options and have not taken the time to research out a good (but not TOO good) one for them. Have a beautiful day!

  28. I love how you have words mixed in with pictures. Keep it up.

  29. We’ve gone through the snowball and have switched off and on between cash and the debit card. It’s so worth it! We’ve had many struggles over the years, but the emergency fund has been a huge blessing on reducing the stress levels. Now, we are saving up to buy a 12 passenger van in cash as we are expecting our sixth blessing in June and we are at full capacity in our Toyota Sienna.

  30. Fascinating collection of metal things there. What a neat idea!

  31. Wow, that is some neat stuff Seth found. Maybe he’ll be an antique dealer when he grows up?!

  32. What a ‘treasure’ of moments. I love when my kids are artistic- makes my heart glad. The smile on Gave’s face is a mile wide!

  33. Beautiful! Happy New Year! +JMJ+

  34. I love to read you as usual. I have been away for a few days sice we are now in Mexico.
    Today it all looks so nice at your place.

  35. So Bea is praying for a baby sister……sounds like my niece. My husband’s SIL is pregnant and Sweet Girl is absolutely *convinced* that it’s a baby sister. The thought that it could possibly even be a baby brother has never crossed her mind and if you bring it up, she says, “no, it’s a baby sister.”

    Lord have mercy if it’s a boy…

    I’m kind of jealous of all the treasures that Seth has been finding. All you find around here is the occasional arrowhead. It looks like he’s been finding colonial-era items…or maybe it’s just because they’re still dirty. Who knows. Either way, I’m jealous.

  36. Oh my goodness! Do I spy a vintage chicken cookie cutter in Seth’s treasure pile? My daughter (who has four brothers ), always prays for a little sister….three little brothers later, I don’t think it will happen.

  37. All of those moments are so wonderful–it’s those things that validate what you’re doing–how your family lives, and inspire others. Beautiful!

  38. For drawing, I recommend all of Ed Emberley’s books, especially the thumb print ones! Also, you probably know this, but some of those coins your son found could be worth some money. We took some old coins from my husband’s family to a dealer and were greatly surprised! I also know many mixed media artists who would love to get their hands on some of those treasures for their art. I may have to get one of those gadgets myself 🙂

  39. what finds! wow that is alot of treasures.
    i just checked out alice’s prints, beautiful. now i must get a couple. lol

  40. Ginny – this post is beautiful. all of it.

  41. Great photos…thanks to you for leaving all of your favorite lens on Amazon….I gave myself a Christmas present and ordered the Nikon 24 – 85 mm lens…it should come in today! Love your photography, and knitting and blog in general!

  42. Love the pictures, as always.
    We are doing a debt snowball and switchng to cash too. We started a few weeks ago. Making a budget has been a lot of work, but very liberating too.

  43. Love all the beautiful stories and pics. And I am totally going to use the ‘I’m not dumping them out, I’m taking them out’. I like to ‘take out’ a lot of art supplies and I sometimes get accused of ‘dumping’.

  44. I love Gabe’s smile. I’m so happy you caught it before he hid. How much has Silas grown! I swear he was just born last week. 🙂 Seth’s photos make me want to pull out my dad’s old metal detector. I remember hunting with him all over Civil War hospital sites and finding cool things when I was young. Beautiful photo of Keats with the bird. I’m glad she survived. Um…maybe Beatrix would be willing to wait a year or two?

  45. I LOVE that Larkspur is praying for a baby sister in part because every time I prayed for one I got another brother! Beautiful pics of beautiful children, as always, and amazing pic of the female cardinal!

  46. Yes, I agree with Beatrix– just one more Ginny!? 😉

  47. It’s a beautiful life when you slow down and look deeply at it, isn’t it, Ginny. What a wonderful post.

  48. Keats is doing a great job holding the violin. Tell him to keep up the good work! The cardinal pictures are amazing as is the rest of your beautiful family. Happy New Year!

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