Archives for May 2017

Pacing Myself

Silas turned six last week! The girls made him a throne of cushions and sheets and gave him a bell to ring. He had no problem at all adjusting to his role as little prince, happy to give out orders. We had a pretty quiet day, as rain forced us to postpone our original birthday plans. Requested foods were acquired and made, and Jonny and I took Silas and Job on a lunch date. This week we’ll make a little daytrip per Silas’ request, as the weather promises to be nicer.

While I prefer gentler toys, one of Silas’ main requests this year was a Nerf gun. Older brothers, eager to get in on the fun spent their own money to purchase additional Nerf guns. Imagine my life right now in a house with five boys and many Nerf guns, and say a prayer if you will for my state of mind. I’m living in a self inflicted battle zone. Surely the guns will break soon?

The really special gifts this year were handmade, one by me, and one from Made by Alejandro. We’re all in love with Silas’ new leather sword and he’s been wearing it non-stop. Truly, a great toy investment! Beatrix is saving her money for one of her own. Silas will have this set long after the Nerf hysteria ends (Because it will. It has to.)

I have a long history of immersing myself in projects and working on them into the wee hours of the morning, especially when it comes to gifts. Sound familiar? I can’t do that anymore, though. An hour to work uninterrupted is a rare occurrence, and I can’t sacrifice sleep like I used to be able to. So, I am learning to pace myself and do a little at a time. I bought Alicia Paulson’s Basil Fox kit years ago (I’ve made all of her softie kits now with the exception of the kitty which I sadly didn’t buy.) I had Silas in mind when I bought it, but wanted to wait until he was a little older and less destructive to make it for him. There’s a fine line between too destructive and not interested when it comes to little boys and softies, I’d say. These little animals aren’t made for rough play. I worked a little each night for about two weeks to finish up Basil in time for Silas’ birthday and it was a much nicer experience than frantically rushing at the last minute! Of course a stuffed fox would have been quickly tossed into the shadows of a new leather sword and Nerf gun, so I saved Basil for the very end of the day. One last surprise at bedtime. That went over just as I hoped, and I think I will do something similar in the future with my handmade gifts so they get the appreciation they deserve. 🙂

p.s. Baby turkeys! We usually come across them every summer, and I am always so amazed by how well they can hide in the grass! There were babies all around my feet and I didn’t even realize it! Mama did though, and ran me off real quick!

p.p.s. Job is working with (affiliate link) this set in the pictures above. We are still doing math, and likely will be all summer. When the big kids are working, he likes to have something to work with as well and enjoys this set more than my other kids did.

Small Things-8130


Excited to Tears

(This post contains affiliate links.)

One day, when I was a little girl, about seven years old, I held a baby lion at a shopping mall in Gadsden, Alabama. It’s somewhat hard to believe that this was ever a “thing,” but it was. That day, I happened to run into my best friend, Amy, from a grade or so ago, which was kind of crazy because I didn’t live in Gadsden, and neither did she. Our parents decided to pay for us to have our picture taken holding the baby lion. I never saw Amy again, but I still have that photograph. And while I don’t agree with using wild animals in that way, as a little girl it felt like a dream come true.

Over this past weekend, I had a similar experience with an orphaned fawn. Though this time it was a “not for profit” deal. We spent a few moments with the baby before she was driven to a wildlife rehabilitator. I kept it together, but honestly, on the inside I felt a little like Kristen Bell when she realized she was going to meet a sloth. (That’s a youtube link) Once the little fawn left, I told Jonny that I might burst into tears. Not because she was gone, but because I had the opportunity to interact with her for those few minutes. I just have this thing for spotted fawns. I LOVE them. It’s part of the reason we try to go to Big Meadows at least once every summer. You’re almost always sure to see them on the meadow during the summer months. Anyway, that was the best day I’ve had in a long time. I felt like a little girl again. I know I’m super corny, but I’ll never forget that little fawn.

Of course, I also get really excited about things like homemade mayo. I made some over the weekend, because I’ve been buying the healthy stuff made with avocado oil for the few of my kids that eat mayo, but it’s just too expensive. Making my own was easy, and since I used a yolk from one of our free range chicken eggs, it was yellow like butter! Gabe didn’t get my excitement. He said he’d rather have white mayo. (I followed a recipe from this cookbook.)

Jonny and the boys have been working hard at our old house, getting it ready to sell next month. It’s bittersweet watching all the unfinished projects of recent years getting completed. On the other hand, I get excited thinking about making it all fresh and pretty for a new family. We love that place so much. It’s still hard to believe that we are going to sell it. The elderberries I planted there last year are blooming. I gathered a bunch of the flowers a couple of nights ago and made a tea with some of the flowers. The rest went into the dehydrator. I honestly didn’t care for the flavor of the tea, but it’s supposed to be good for treating illness, so we’ll save the dried flowers for this winter.

Silas’ birthday is this week, and I’ve been working every night on a gift for him, but it’s a surprise and my kids look at my blog, so I don’t want to risk posting a photo. I’ve posted a couple of progress photos in my Instagram stories over the past few days, and will keep doing so. It’s not a big deal, but it feels good to be working on something in secret for him. I’ve also been planning for Mabel’s first birthday which is in less than a month now! I dyed fabric and yarn for a friend to use to make her a little baby doll, and I’m making progress on a little knitted top for her. That’s practically a Yarn Along photo up there, isn’t it? I’m knitting this pattern, and after a few fiction reads, I’m now reading this book.