Turning and Making

Small Things-0803

Keats turned fourteen last week and I can’t get over how quickly my children are growing up. He literally towers over me, and at the rate he is growing, will probably be as tall as Jonny (over six feet) within the year. I wrapped up a boomerang for him so he’d have something to open, but these older boys mainly want cash to go towards large purchases that they save for over time. Keats wants a dirt bike, and I am not going to lie, I’m kind of glad he doesn’t have enough money yet. I have to work hard not to be a worrier. It’s good I married Jonny, who has only learned to worry a little bit in recent years. At some point, I guess life just gets so complicated that it’s nearly impossible not to worry about something.

Jonny bought a lathe recently after spending years talking about getting one, and finally finding the deal he was looking for on Craigslist. He and our older boys are spending a lot of time with it, which makes me happy. I like to see them all making things, learning new skills. And in the process they are making chicken bedding! The shavings build up quickly. My first gift from the lathe was a new rolling pin, a giant one. Jonny calls it the rat killer. He made it from red oak, the same tree he’s been working from for years now. There have been shelves, cutting boards, and hopefully one day a larger kitchen table. We’ve gotten crowded at ours!

Larkspur and Beatrix are my little planners now, always eager to prepare for holidays. Larkspur spent weeks getting ready for Valentine’s Day, and even made little finger puppets with a pattern from (affiliate link)Β this book,Β for Silas and Job. Valentine’s Day is one that has probably slipped off my radar in the past, but there is no room for slacking anymore. I bought chocolate hearts and was sure to place them in the paper boxes that Larkspur made and decorated for each child to receive their gifts in. I do wish I had some of her holiday energy! She sets a high bar.

I’m sticking to my doctor prescribed dairy and egg-free diet (still gluten free too), and walking every day. We have a long driveway here along with paths in the woods, so I am getting out the stroller on these strangely warm February days we’re having.Β I feel pretty good, though it’s hard to really measure because Mabel has been sick most of the past month and I am not getting nearly enough sleep. I feel kinda good, kinda bad, if that makes sense. I think that it’s hard to make any sort of big life or diet changes during the first year after having a baby. I’m doing my best though. Mentally I’m much better, and that is my main concern. I have stopped thinking about butter constantly, so there’s some sort of progress. πŸ™‚

p.s. That cardinal was trapped in our garage, and couldn’t figure out how to get out the door, so Seth helped him.


  1. Janet Ulrich says:

    I would love to buy a large rolling pin for my chef husband. Do you think Johnny will be making some for the shop?

  2. Eye protection with the lathe is mandatory!!! Otherwise I love all of this :}

    • Yes, it is! I bought several pairs for the kids the day after Jonny brought the lathe home. Somehow the ones we had went missing in the move. The photos of Keats was taken the first day–and he was turning a tiny piece of wet wood…but rest assured, they are wearing safety glasses as a rule now. πŸ™‚

  3. oh wow, I haven’t been reading your blog for long but I already love your family! I love seeing your children doing creative things! Thats exactly how you want them to be occupying their time! I hope you start noticing a difference from your diet change soon, nothing worse than putting the effort in and not feeling any different πŸ™

  4. Butter would be hard to give up! And it is hard to notice improvement in health when running on little sleep. Hopefully she will feel better soon, and you will begin to notice a difference! I do not do well on little sleep, but we are preparing for twins and already have a toddler. So in a couple months, sleep will be even more of a luxury!

  5. Just found your blog. I love your pictures. Your babies are precious. I completely agree. I could never accomplish much the first year after having a baby. In general, I’m a mess. And I’m with you. Worry is very very easy with so many little ones. You’ll be in my prayers for healing. ❀

  6. Wow, what a wealthy of interesting things happening at your home. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

  7. It’s always a joy to see photos of your family life! Would you mind sharing all the names of your children? They seem interesting. Will Jonny be making “rat killers” for the shop?

  8. Ginny –

    We’ve been dairy-free for 8 years now (mostly). Both of my kids have dairy allergies.

    We like to make a spread from half coconut oil and half honey and a pinch of salt, whipped in a jar using a fork until it’s well mixed. The texture is similar to butter, and it tastes good even though it’s not butter. Blessings to you and your family!

  9. So glad you are managing your health and feeling better. I follow the blog regularly and enjoy watching your family grow, you are an amazing mther.

  10. Are you making biscuits or cookies? I’d love to hear how you are making them without gluten, if you are πŸ™‚ All my recipes have not been good. πŸ™

  11. Will we be seeing nostepinne in the shop next?

  12. How AWESOME are those finger puppets Larkspur made! Wow! They are super adorable and I bet Silas and (especially) Job love them. Impressive!

    Speaking of impressive, that big rolling pin is great, too. How nice for your husband (and you!) to have a hobby that produces such wonderful things! πŸ™‚

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling relatively good. That’s progress, right? Even very small steps forward are still steps forward…!

    PS. This is completely a propos, but I just wanted to say I just started a new job AND I just moved (abroad, back to my home country) so my life is super chaotic, hectic, and stressful right now. Visiting your blog, even when I *know* that your life might be super hectic too, is such a stress reliever…it’s like a still moment when I’m commuting (by train). I love seeing your beautiful photos and appreciate the chance to see what you and your beautiful family are up to. Thank you.

  13. Amy DelaTerre says:

    Hi Ginny!
    Your mention of missing butter made me want to mention that you might be able to eat ghee?…. I know lots of dairy-free people can tolerate it… you can make it yourself with, ideally, organic pasture butter…it’s easy to make at home, and much cheaper to make than to buy it by the jar. (Just Google it if you are interested.) My older son doesn’t do well with dairy, but he can drink raw milk, eat raw cow cheese and any goat cheese (which he doesn’t really like, so that’s kind of irrelevant), and he can have ghee too, with no issues. He is not allergic, but just sensitive to pasteurized dairy. I don’t think ghee is anywhere near as yummy as butter, of course, but one can get used to it, and it’s better than nothing! In some recipes, you would never know the difference. Coconut oil is a good substitute too, but I’m sure you already know that! Anyway, be well!

  14. Ginny,
    I love your blog posts! I found your posts through “Blessed As She.” I appreciate your honesty in your writing

    I need your help finding a scarf pattern that you featured a few weeks ago. The scarf was grey with a color block band at the edge. I believe the post was connected to the heart caps that you make.

    I envisioned making the scarves as gifts for the women in my family. The majority of their birthdays are in the fall, so I can get started now on the projects.

    Can you help me find the scarf pattern?

    • Hi Phyllis! I don’t have a scarf that fits that description. I looked through that particular post and didn’t see anything either….maybe you saw it somewhere else?

  15. Hi Ginny !
    I rarely comment here but oh, I just love your blog ! So sweet.
    I have a bit of a rash around my eyes and someone suggested cutting out dairy and I thought oh, I’m not sure . And then the next morning I realized butter was dairy, and I said o gosh no way!!! πŸ˜‚Love butter, especially the cultured butter we make ! But I did try it and have seen some results…. unfortunately!
    I also wanted to mention, do you know of Avivia Romm? A wonderful herbalist, homebirth midwife and Yale md, she recently wrote a book on the thyroid revolution and I thought I would pass this along if you didn’t know! Hope you’re well xo

  16. I started reading your blog through an interest in yarn and knitting. Have to say I just love your wonderful photos of your busy and beautiful family.

  17. Your lathe has me thinking that it would be a great birthday gift for my teenage son. He loves making things and working with wood. A lathe would definitely expand his horizons (although, I’m thinking it would be messy). Is your lathe electric or foot operated?

  18. Beautiful photos.

  19. Hope to see those rolling pins for sale in the near future – great gift idea and love those pretty red birds!

  20. Those cardinal photos made me miss VA. My girls and I were just discussing our old house there and how we had the pleasure of observing cardinals each day. I miss those beautiful birds!

  21. Love the rolling pin! My father loved woodworking; he had a lathe and a whole workshop full of other tools (unfortunately they were all given away after he died, I wish my son could use them now that he is interested in woodworking. ) I have to admit that my father’s projects were usually not as practical or functional as your family’s!

  22. I have noticed fewer snake pictures on the blog. Are your kids handling fewer snakes these days, or is it a courtesy to those with “snake issues”? The pictures of that Cardinal are amazing! I am always impressed with how your kids manage to handle wildlife!

    • I think it’s a combination of both. Not too many snakes caught in the last couple of years, and I’m always worried that folks will have forgotten about our snake warning system…or will be new and not know about it! πŸ™‚

  23. You give me a quiet place to come to. Thank you for your posts.

  24. Reading your blog for years now, I must comment for the first time because I think I spy Austria in the book on the third photo – my home country! Do you mind sharing its title? I love the idea that you are learning about Europe!
    All the best for your nutrition changes, we are going through similar (but unforced) changes here too.
    Andrea (currently living in Atlanta)

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