light at the end of a gray week

I believe it’s been a full week since we’ve seen the sun.

And I think that’s about all I can say.

Okay, maybe I can manage a little more.

You see, Wednesday I was away from home for most of the day.  I arrived home late to an email from a very nice sounding woman named Heather who writes for the homeschooling portion of The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  She wanted to know if she could feature my blog there.  (What????!!!!)  I sent a very calm and collected email back, saying that of course I’d be honored.  What I was really thinking was that someone must be pulling my leg with this one.  But I got a reply from Heather thanking me and saying that the article might go up on Friday.  I still didn’t really believe it.  Evidently Heather worked late Wednesday night, because when I checked in on my computer for the first time late Thursday morning, there was another email from her saying that the article was already live.

The last time I was written about (do you remember the French parenting website thing?) it wasn’t a very pleasant experience and I felt terribly misunderstood.  It’s no fun being portrayed as the “perfect” mom whom everyone loves to hate, living the “perfect” life.  The reality is that I am knee deep raising six kids wondering if any of them will grow up to be socially acceptable.  It’s terrifying sometimes.  So I was nervous about this Pioneer Woman article, actually really nervous.  I didn’t need to worry though.  Heather wrote an entirely wonderful and humbling post about Small Things.  In the words of one of you on my Facebook page, ” I thought it beautifully represented your site.”  I quickly emailed Heather and thanked her because she had clearly spent enough time here that she came away with an understanding of me and what I attempt to do here on my blog.  Then I got in touch with my web hosting company because all the traffic was making my blog crash!  Thankfully they were able to do get it loading properly again by some web magic.

So, If you are new here thank you so much for visiting.  I am waving at you with a very shy but enthusiastic, “Hello!”  I am so glad you are here.

Back to our gray week:

It’s all a bit of a blur, but according to my photographs the girls made homemade stamps.  I drew little grids on cardstock for them to illustrate and then we cut them out with those special curvy edge scissors (I can never think of the right term for things.)  I also printed up some free birdies to cut out and make stamps out of.  We tweaked the stamp glue recipe we’ve used in the past because we didn’t have any corn syrup.

Stamp Glue:

1 packet gelatin

2 Tbsp boiling water

2 Tbsp cool water

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp almond, vanilla, or mint extract (whatever you’ve got.)

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, then add cool water, honey and flavoring.

Brush the glue on the back of your stamps.  Once it dries you’re ready to lick and stick.  The gelatin will firm up after a little while but heating it up will liquify it again.

Last night, we were supposed to get some snow.  I went for a walk hoping to catch the first flakes as darkness fell.  The snow didn’t come though, it was all rain and mud.  We were all hoping so much for even just an inch.  Maybe next time. Today we are supposed to have sun.


  1. Your blog seemed to crash again today, but am glad it is back up…Wed is my day to catch up on your blog 🙂 going to read the PW post now 🙂

  2. Woot! Woot! Congratulations!

    Your photos and words make me so happy. I can’t imagine how they could bring anyone down. Ever. : )

  3. Angela in MS says:

    I am so proud for you…just found you through Pioneer Woman’s blog; what an inspiration your blog is! Thank you!

  4. Jeannie in VA says:

    I read about you on PW and have since shared your blog with friends of mine that I KNOW will appreciate your style. I home schooled by 2 boys from 4th grade to graduation from high school. They are both college graduates with honors. The oldest married his high school sweetheart and 2 days later graduated from the police academy. My youngest just graduated on Dec. 21. I remember freaking out every spring right before testing – knowing that I had failed my kids and screwed their lives up forever. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  5. How fun to be friends with PW!
    In picture 6 with round yoke sweater’s name is? Gorgeous

  6. I came over from PW’s blog. I love your blog and am grateful for your honesty and vulnerability. I’m pretty sure I’ve found another favorite blog to read.

  7. Fantastic,
    I didn’t know, well, not even think of the possibility of stamp glue. I was a lot into stamping stuff because my mum worked in a post office when I was little and I loved to come. I had a little stamp factory, just had to glue them.
    Also your pictures are so deep!
    Wish you snow! Fräulein Rucksack.

  8. Great article, thanks for sharing the link. I have to remember your stamp glue recipe. That will come in very handy in a year or two, when the kid and I start crafting together.

  9. Just want to mention that I personally think your daughters are gorgeous! You did good 🙂

  10. I also found you through Heather’s article on PW site. I thanked Heather for introducing me to your site. My life is so different from PW or Heather’s or yours (I’m a military wife with three girls, two in public school and one being home schooled)…but that’s what makes life so beautiful…all the varied creations. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures and learn more about your life. Thank you for sharing your family, talents, faith, successes and failures. I learn a lot from all those things…so thank you.

  11. Looks like you’ve got quite a fan club now! And I’m sooo glad PW and Heather Saunders helped me find you. I look forward to you posts and your pictures, and will continue to dream that I can knit anywhere half as decent as you. I know what you mean about knee-deep with kids (thought I have half as many) since I have a 5 year-old, and the good Lord saw fit to bless me with twins born last summer. He must have plans I don’t know about. 😉 Anyhoooo… cheers, and thanks for your honesty and lovely, timely posts.

  12. So glad to have found this beautiful space. Can’t wait to read more…

  13. I was so surprised to see your blog featured on the Pioneer Woman blog, as I had just found it myself a week or two ago. It’s really delightful to read and your photographs are just gorgeous. Thanks for your sharing yourself here and as a previous comment said, thanks for being a real person. It’s so easy to relate to you and your family and feel inspired by you.

  14. Just wanted to say hi. Found your blog by recommendation of Annie in the Bird and Little bird blog… Really love what I am finding here. My passions are also knitting, reading and family. (I’m not a SAHM though, which I try not be too guilty about when I read blogs like yours…) Anyway, just wanted to tell you how much I love that you share so openly about your faith, so inspiring. I have been a faithful reader of another very crafty earthy well-known stay at home mother’s blog, but it’s just so much more meaningful reading a blog that also keeps the eternal perspective in mind… I will continue coming back to read more, but usually I do not take the time to leave comments.

  15. Hey there from London (albeit an long-term American expat)

    I think our sons are about the same age and I look forward to see what kinds of crafts you do with him and I am horribly unartistic! I also went through a failed adoption and so read your story with my heart in my hand to be honest.

    Anyway, I don’t usually comment, but felt compelled to. So I will head off into lurkdom.

  16. Hello! I am a new reader who found you on PW’s site! It is always so fun to see how other families live their lives. My girlies are older (16 and 18) but lucky for me my oldest is still here at home. Your photos are just lovely and I can’t wait to try making our own stamps!


  17. Rebecca Weaver says:

    Hi Ginny, I just wanted to drop a line to you and tell you I love your blog!! I can’t wait to start my friendship with you through your entries and life photos. So, “hello” my new friend! I look forward to hearing more about your life! Happy day! 🙂

  18. Hi there from Spain! I’m also one of the people who found about your blog through PW’s site, and honestly, it’s amazing! I’m an English teacher and I love your point of view about learning, I think that Homeschooling is that great Way of approaching the kids, teaching them while allowing them be creative and not push them into marks… Which, by the way, here in Spain, are so low… Thank You again for sharing this and your fantastic pictures, kind regards from Spain!

  19. Hello there lovely Ginny!
    congrat’s on the article! YOu are an amazing inspiration to us all, I know for me i always come away inspired to do better in my homeschooling journey when i visit here! WHat a blessing that more people out there can see through your eyes the way you show it……
    As for those totally cute little stamps, I’ve posted them on my blog! SOooo excited, i hope we can make them soon ourselves, just need to buy the gelatine!!
    Thanks again for everything you do!
    Smiles and hugs SHarnee 🙂

  20. Your blog is one of my favorite places to visit, Ginny. How fun that through PW others are able to come and enjoy the peace and beauty you create here. Blessings to you!!

  21. Just want to say that the 5th picture up from the bottom took my breath away. Gorgeous.

  22. I’m also new because of the PW blog. I’ve never seen the idea of making your own stamp glue. Thank you so much for posting that. That is just what I was searching for because of a project I want to begin. Looking forward to knowing you more.

  23. Just found you today….because of the link on PW. LOVE your blog! Looking forward to following you.

  24. Came here via PW too. Heather is so nice, isn’t she? And boy, a mention on PW does certainly boost traffic and other things like book sales, no? This blog is lovely and your photographs are beautiful. I try for those but don’t have the camera skills yet. I have bookmarked this site for inspiration and already want to try the non-toxic glue. I think Imight feel safe doing it w/ my 3 year old around that way. Thanks for sharing a window into your life!

  25. Hi there! I’m a new reader who found you through the Pioneer Woman’s feature. I just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading up a little when time has permitted the past 2 days. Lovely photography and even more beautiful family. You seem like such a real person. I am very much enjoying the glimpse into your world.
    ~ida mae

  26. SO excited for you to be featured on Pioneer Woman’s blog! You totally deserve it! I’ve loved your blog for quite a while now:)

    Do you use your stamps for anything in particular? I think my kids would love playing post office or something similar with these! So fun! We will do it soon I think!

  27. Your “drippy branch” photos look like the one I posted yesterday, only our drips were frozen for two days! I was getting so fed up with the gray–today the sun was up, and I felt renewed!

    I popped over to Pioneer Woman yesterday when I saw the link on FB. Heather did a great job, and I am so happy that so many more people will come to know the blog I have been loving for 3 years…


  28. I followed the link on Pioneer Woman, also. I like the recipe for stamp glue. Bet it would also work for envelope flaps on homemade envelopes, one of my occasional craft things.

  29. Congrats on the Pioneer Woman feature!

  30. I also came to your blog for the first time last night! I have already put it in my favorites! Really love your photos, stories and your honest approach. Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with us! 🙂

  31. Came here by way of Pioneer Woman. Beautiful site.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    You could not have found a better person to represent you on The Pioneer Woman’s blog then Heather. She is just lovely and totally “got” what you are about. I’m new to you as well but signed up immediately to your blog because it represents a life that I’ll never have but can totally appreciate. I look forward to enjoying your blog posts in the future. In the meantime have a wonderful weekend. My daughter and I are going to light the Shabbat candles now in warm urban Los Angeles.

  33. Hi Ginny,
    I was so happy to read your tale through the Pioneer Woman What a wonderful article. Congrats. Balisha

  34. Sandra Davidson says:

    I am also one of those people that found your site last night and I found it very charming and I admire you for all you do. My daughter would love to like to live as you do so simply and honest. She is trying to homeschool her little boy who is six and also blind. Her health is very poor as she has diabetes and also on dialysis so my husband and I who are retired moved nearby so we could help her as much as possible with Jonah. That is why I was so interested in following your blog.
    The weather has been much the same up here in Ontario Canada where we live. Today the sun did shine some and we got a bit of snow and are hoping for tomorrow because our winterfest here in Stratford is this weekend.
    I will be looking forward to getting to know you and your beautiful family. I don’t have a blog but hope you will e-mail if you get the time. Blessings Sandra

  35. Congrats to you! Love your blog, PW or no PW! 😉 ~ Marnie

  36. Ashley H. says:

    I found you through the Pioneer Woman too! I love your blog and am inspired by the humble and joyful way you seem to approach life and the Catholic faith… thanks for the posts! =0)

  37. Hi! I’m another one of the people who found your blog through the Pioneer Woman and probably one of the people who crashed your site last night. I love your honesty in your posts, the love for your children, and the love for a life that is not interrupted by a dysfunctional society. I love that you inspire your children to be creative. The mud kitchen has to be one of my favorites because it reminds me of my childhood on 40 acres of land in South Carolina. I would gather acorns, berries, and pecans and put them in a ceramic flower pot and make my stew! Thank you for a wonderful blog.

  38. I love the colors of your children outside in the gray. It looks like a storybook! Congratulations on being featured on the Pioneer Woman! You’re a better writer/blogger than you realize.

  39. I love when my favorite bloggers like each other!

  40. I am one of those people who heard of your blog through the PW blog and I am so pleased to be aquainted with it! I absolutely love your photographic style and as a big fan of the crochet hook I look forward to digging around to see what other lovliness awaits. Thanks for writing your blog. Thanks for being honest. Thanks for being a real person. Here’s to more success for you and blessings to your family!

  41. Big happy to you for PW:)
    I’m soooo with you on this weather. Yes it has been a week of grayness, fog, mist, rain, and mud. We were so excited about the predicted 4-6″ of snow. But, when I awoke this morning and could actually see orange/yellow light through the curtains, I jumped out of bed and opened all the curtains (practiaclly singing, oh wait I did).
    Take care, Ginny.


  1. […]  Just by luck, I ran across these FREE printable birds at small things blog […]

I love to hear from you!