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more pages

More random pages from Galen’s birthday book.  Yes, I’m back to using all white background pages.  Aren’t I boring?  I can’t help it.  I like things to be simple, clean lines, all of that.  Sometimes I get really wild and crazy and change around the font.  Yup.  I am, out. of. control.  Wee-hee.

A winner has been chosen in the software giveaway.  Congratulations to Pamela Smith!  I’ll be contacting you later with your prize.

For everyone else, the special offer is still good: My Memories is offering a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the My Memories store.  To redeem your coupon just enter the code: STMMMS99407


Halloween Elves

My house is right full of them.g & m

From the very little ones, who’s current favorite pastime includes “making necklaces for friends”, a very helpful diversion while the mama plugs away at Halloween costumes.

stringing(as a side note, remember those beaded car seat covers that used to be popular a while back?  A friend of mine snagged one at a rummage sale and we harvested all the wooden beads from it for hours upon hours of stringing fun.)

To family projects where everyone lends a hand…pinatas

To the older ones who have many a trick up there sleeves…DSCN5128

Our house will surely be full of treats come Halloween day!



I had several other posts planned for this week, but the week got away from me a bit.  It’s been a hectic one!  And this weekend is just full, full, full.  Wonderful, but full!  So, I will be back in this space (hopefully) on Monday.

Happy weekend everyone!




The other day Iain accused me of being”too buttonish”.  I think it was right around the time that I took to decorating with buttons.


Ok, so he might have a point.  Though it’s kind of a silly one to make since he likes buttons almost as much as I do.


My Mother-in-law is the maven of yard sale finds.  We joke that she keeps us in our own variation on disposable dishes.  Every year she buys up all of the pieces from a certain pattern that she comes across and ships them off to us to replace all the ones that we’ve broken in the previous year.  A fabulous deal, I tell you!


For my birthday this year she sent me a box of towels and…a box of various sewing notions that she had gathered over the summer.  Now I know that she felt that the towels were the real gift and the notions just something that she was throwing in, and the towels were nice and fluffy and all, but…. there were bits of laces and ribbons and thread, but mostly?  Buttons.

Which lead to a delightful rainy (yes, we had rain, how weird is that?!?) afternoon of sitting around with the kids sorting buttons by color…


Check out these coconut hull buttons…


Almost exactly the same as the ones I used, and spent good money on, for Iain’s sweater.  A whole big bag of them, 149, but Iain’s count.

Oh and did I mention the mother of pearl?  Probably 200 or so?


It seems that people are catching on to the fact that I like buttons.  A couple of people now have sent over some special little buttons collections that they have no use for.  Which means a lot of fun for me.  (For future reference, I like yarn too.  Ooo.. and fabric, patterns, ribbons…and if someone has a spare loom kicking around…I’m just saying….  Oh, but do feel free to keep the buttons coming too!)

DSCN5099The ones above came in a care package from my sister-in-law at Christmas time.  The sheep in particular have drawn the attention of various children.  I’m envisioning a blue sweater for Little Rosebud with the hearts.

And the ones below came from thoughtful blog reader Kim


so. much. fun.


I think the ones on the right are my favorite.  They’re just so sweet!  The ones on the left so need to be on something for Galen, don’t you think?


Something else…

I sat down tonight to write a post about Iain’s robe and that post, well, I’m not getting any traction on it at the moment, so maybe tomorrow.  I have found myself thinking about something else.  Something entirely different.  And it’s this; I need to find a small section of life outside my home.


I met my husband when I was 17 years old.  I gave birth to our first son just three weeks before my 19th birthday.  I had stopped working outside the home during my pregnancy and I’ve been here every since.  And it’s good.  It’s where I want to be.  I’ve always said that I may have other jobs in my life, but this is my career.  Mothering was my calling in life.

The thing of it is, while all of my peers were traveling or going to college or partying, I was having babies.  And while they were out at concerts and museums, protests and clubs, I was having babies.  While they were making friends and trying on different style lives, I was having babies.  When they were taking their time getting to know, and sometimes letting go of significant others, I was having babies.


I’ve never regretted it and I’ve always been content with the thought of “maybe someday”, full well knowing that if “someday” never came, I had still put first what counts and I would never trade a moment of that.  But while everyone else was finding out who they are, I was finding out what kind of mother I am.  And every little thing about me has unfurled and spread out from and through that until everything that I am is a part of being a mother and everything I do because I am a mother.

There’s good and bad in that.  Mostly good I think.  But my children are going to grow up someday and I don’t want their departure to be a complete culture shock for me.


We live in a rural area and I don’t drive, I am and will likely ever be, a highly home-based person, but something tells me that I need to step away from that, just a bit, to find out what and who else I am; that I need to venue out into the world at large, just a little more.  Truth be told, I’m not even sure what that means or how it will translate into every day life.  Maybe I need to take a class or make some friends.  Maybe I need to go out for coffee with old friends.  Maybe as a family we need to take a trip.  Or maybe it’s a simple as taking a walk alone a couple of days a week.  I don’t really know.  But I do know that it feels right to try.


I think it’s funny that this is all coming out now.  Maybe it’s just a part of getting older, but mostly I think it has to do with our recent lifestyle shift.  I don’t imagine it seems to dramatic to those of you on the outside.  But living the way that we did, so much of life was just taken up by basic survival (there’s good in that too, if you know where to look for it).  Now it’s here we go, “life as we know it, take 2″ or 10, I’ve lost count…and my world somehow isn’t shaped the way I thought it would be.  Only I didn’t think it would be.  I didn’t think of much of anything because every ounce of energy went into just getting by.  Now here I am, slightly disoriented, asking where did I go?

Ah, the answer is out there somewhere I’m sure.  This is going to be interesting folks.


The pictures in this post were taken by the fire tonight, because home for the most part?  Well, it’s a pretty darn good place to be.


Clean, Naturally…

This was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year (and yes, the combination of birthday and holiday posts is going to take me right on through to February I suspect).  A friend of mine made gift packs of her home made cleaning products, along with a recipe book of sorts for various cleaners and a guide to getting out different sorts of stains.  Her husband works at a book bindery, so it was all done up very nicely.


I’ve been making my own cleaning products for many years now, though I will admit that the making of my own laundry detergent suddenly became a very low priority after moving into the Little House.  This was enough of a spark to get me back on track.  I think I like her laundry detergent recipe better then the one that I used way back when and now that I have it right at hand, I’m all set.  The ingredients are so much safer then those of any commercially available alternatives, it works just as well and costs a whole lot less.


I tend to make my cleaners in a haphazard manner.  I keep certain key elements on hand; baking soda, borax, white vinegar, a “natural” dish detergent and castile soap.  I use table salt from time to time and occasionally herbs or essential oils to scent or fortify my blends.  From there I mostly make things on an as needed basis.  If I’m cleaning the stove top I’m likely to dump on some baking soda, maybe add a squirt of soap, sprinkle a bit of water on top and get to scrubbing.  I’m finding that having her soft scrub on hand is a nice change of pace, it’s somehow more official and makes the job just a wee bit more pleasant.  I think I might go back to preparing things in advance as I have in the past.

Do you have a favorite natural cleaning product recipe??  Feel free to share it in the comments!  For me, I always keep on hand a spray bottle of 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar, with a squirt of dish soap and a few drops of tea tree oil.  It’s the perfect disinfecting all-purpose cleaner.  Happy (and healthy) cleaning!



My mind was in Haiti all day….with mothers and fathers, children and loves, brothers, sisters, people of every sort, caught fast in the trenches of heartache and suffering. I tried several times to write a post about regular, everyday things, but nothing would come and I decided to go with that instead. A moment of silence of sorts. Instead I spent the day being deeply and fully grateful for the simple, but oh so powerful, blessing of being able to hold each and every member of my little family on that day and everyday.

If you have the means please consider finding a way to help. For many that would mean a monetary donation to an organization like Doctors Without Borders. For others finding a way to help means something else entirely. Whatever it means to you, I hope that you’ll take the time to do what you can.

Today I was going to try to pick up the thread of every day life, but, for whatever reason, I can’t seem to get on to flickr (is it just me?), so….maybe tomorrow? Either way, I think that by the end of the weekend I’ll have a little announcement to make.