Painting Therapy

When big brother has a favorite cousin visiting, he tends to leave out his usual favorite playmate. The one who puts up with his tackling and rough housing.

I've tried to point it out to him, I've tried getting him to include her in their games, but when there is another boy around, he really doesn't want anything to do with his baby sister. I guess I get that, but I can't help feeling bad for the poor little girl who gets left out.

Luckily, all it takes to put a smile back on her face is some time with mommy painting.

The little green dishes were found at a garage sale. I wanted to buy the tall container (there used to be two) and the lady made me take these 6 little dishes too because they were part of the set. I didn't know at the time that they were little ash trays, (shh, the kids still don't) but they are just perfect for painting. And they even have a cute holder to stack them in for storage.

Garden work

A new house means a new garden!

The house we moved into is a fairly new house so there is absolutely no landscaping and, while I do miss all of our plants and flowers, it's exciting to think of what we can create on this blank canvas. The current garden work however is not of the flowery, decorate the front of the house kind, but of the nourish my family kind.

We've attempted vegetable gardens in the past. We started with a few pepper plants filling in here and there when the landscaping, of the previous house, was new and looked so empty. A couple pumpkin plants along the walk to the house the year we couldn't decide on, or afford much of, anything to plant there and the price of the you-pick pumpkins seemed to be skyrocketing each fall.

Every spring we would get a little more serious about our planting as the kids got bigger and seemed to take a real interest in watching food grow, but most of what we planted was devoured by bunnies and some mischievous ground hogs.

Eventually we put up a small chicken wire fence with metal stakes and built a couple boxes for raised beds. We invested a bit of time and money into making a decent garden that, we hoped, would keep out the pesky, but small, pests we had. . . It didn't work. We were able to harvest at least a little of what we had planted, but between the rodents and the blight we didn't get much.

This year, with the lessons learned from the past, and some research, we are trying once again. This time our fence is a bit more serious and the beds a bit bigger.

We've learned about fertilizers and prepping the soil before planting and we are giving it a go once again, in a new neighborhood, with new pests.

Um, We're gonna need a bigger fence.

The World is almost filled with. . . Daisies?

There are no dandelions in the new yard.

And, daisies just happen to be my favorite flower. What a nice surprise it was to see my back yard full of them. I do kinda miss all those little yellow fuzz balls though.

Learning to Love Reading Again

When I see this,

I know that at least one of my homeschooling goals, a big one, has been achieved this year.

Welcome back my little reader, my lover of books, I missed you.

(A frustrating year in school last year left her less than enthusiastic about reading. These photos were actually taken in April and she's still going strong, reading most nights before bed and to me often)

Spring is

 Mud puddles and cousins,

 Misty evening walks,

Misty Morning walks,


Homemade doughnuts from my oldest girl,

Ducks in the pond,

More mud,

Time with my boy exploring,

No more paper blinds,


And. . . Did I mention mud.